7 March 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Irish-owned Waterstone Clinic, formerly known as Cork Fertility Centre, has opened a state-of-the-art national centre of excellence at Lotamore House in Cork. The 13,000 sq ft advanced fertility unit is a major architectural and technological achievement and features a world-class laboratory with the latest embryology technology. The new development has also brought a significant boost to employment in Cork, with staff numbers at the clinic increasing by 30% to 55.
Waterstone Clinic, which consistently has one of the highest live birth rates in Europe, includes Cork Fertility, now relocated from its College Road premises to Lotamore House, as well as Waterford Fertility and Limerick Fertility. Due to the increasing number of patients travelling from Dublin, a fourth clinic, Dublin Fertility, has opened on Leeson Street.
Speaking about the new centre at Lotamore House, Medical Director of Waterstone Clinic, Dr John Waterstone said: “We have been at the forefront of reproductive medicine in Ireland for 15 years and our facility in Cork reflects our achievements and ambitions as a national reproductive health care provider of the highest calibre. We believe we have created the most advanced fertility unit in the country which will allow us to provide an even better service for our patients.
“Lotamore House is a historic 18th century Cork building, and we have sympathetically refurbished and restored it, preserving its fine period details while incorporating modern facilities and comforts. We have endeavoured to make a visit to Lotamore House as stress-free as possible for patients, with generous parking, spacious waiting areas and an interior design that maximises privacy.”
The 1,500 sq ft laboratory space features the latest embryology technology including a large cryopreservation storage area and a dedicated Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) laboratory. PGD is a highly complex reproductive technology that prevents debilitating genetic conditions being passed on to children, and in 2014, the clinic announced the birth of the first baby in the Republic after PGD for cystic fibrosis.
The comprehensive range of treatments at Waterstone Clinic include IVF, ICSI, surgical sperm retrieval including MicroTese, sperm donation, egg donation, PGD and Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS). As the clinic’s medical consultants also hold Health Service Executive consultant posts, they can directly manage the care of any patients who require hospital admission or surgery.
The cutting-edge clinic is also the first in Ireland to use the new time-lapse incubator, EmbryoScope Plus. The system, which allows for the comprehensive monitoring of embryo development, will be provided free-of-charge.
Dr Waterstone stated: “Most clinics in Ireland using time-lapse technology charge patients extra for the service. This practice reflects a trend towards increasing and undesirable commercialisation of assisted reproduction. I have long campaigned for regulation to combat the financial exploitation of vulnerable patients through expensive add-on investigations and treatments. Until such guidelines are in place, it is the responsibility of fertility clinics across the country to self-regulate and deliver honest advice and ethical management.”
A series of patient information seminars will be held at Waterstone Clinic. The first seminar is on Thursday, March 23rd. Register at www.waterstoneclinic.ie/events