Valentine Akande & Paul Wilson to lead new Bristol private clinic – BCRM
One of the country’s top fertility experts, Dr Valentine Akande, will lead the transition of North Bristol NHS Trust’s Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM) into a private service as from 1 March 2018.
Dr Akande, who has been lead clinician and speciality director of fertility services at BCRM since 2011, will take over the running of the new private operation, together with his business partner, Paul Wilson, also currently with BCRM.
As part of North Bristol NHS Trust, BCRM has been providing fertility services to patients from across the UK, at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, since 2008, and has consistently had one of the highest success rates in the country. Its purpose built IVF facility has helped thousands of couples to conceive and create families. The clinic has many long-standing relationships with its patients and Valentine Akande and Paul Wilson are passionate about maintaining this continuity of care.
As a result of the ever increasing competition in the marketplace from the private sector, as well as a reduction in NHS funded patients, North Bristol NHS Trust undertook a review and decided it was no longer feasible for them to continue to provide the fertility service. The new self-funded service will continue to be located at Southmead Hospital and will retain the BCRM name but will no longer be run by North Bristol NHS Trust. The new service will continue to provide an extensive range of services including IVF, egg, sperm and embryo freezing, research and training, and investigations for infertile couples.
The development reflects the growth in private fertility treatment, with the majority of UK IVF treatments now being provided by private clinics. However, the new BCRM is hopeful that it will also be able to provide services to NHS funded patients as of April next year.
Both Valentine Akande and Paul Wilson are recognised as leading experts in their fields. Dr Akande qualified in 1989 and in 2004 was appointed Consultant Gynaecologist at Southmead Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol. He started with the unit as a clinical research fellow to the late Prof Michael Hull, who set up the original BCRM in 1983 as a joint research project between the University of Bristol and Southmead Hospital. He is an elected member of the British Fertility Society executive committee and chair of it’s conference and meetings committee, a medical performance assessor for the General Medical Council and has previously held positions on committees at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Dr Akande also established a licensed Fertility Unit at the Spire Bristol Hospital.
Paul Wilson is a nationally recognised expert in the field of Embryology and has nearly 25 years of direct hands-on experience in IVF labs. He has extensive leadership experience in the delivery of clinical embryology and andrology (male reproductive system) services, including laboratory design and quality management to international standards and is actively involved in the formal training of new scientists entering the reproductive medicine field.
Dr Akande said: “It will be very much business as usual as we look to continue to provide the exemplary care BCRM is so well known for. Our aim is to build on our long-established track record of delivering above national average pregnancy rates and to enhance choice and quality provision, by offering one of the most experienced teams in the country, as well as top class facilities, to patients in Bristol, the wider South West and South Wales and across the UK. Having been instrumental in creating many families over the years, we feel we are very much part of the Bristol and wider community and we are committed to continuing to provide this service.”