When I moved my family from London to Sussex over 10 years ago, I experienced first-hand the stress of travelling to London on a regular basis. At that time, the majority of patients in Sussex who needed fertility treatment were doing just that and, worse, finding themselves part of a big machine, feeling as if they were yet another statistic in large medical empire. I felt compelled to change things so that patients in Sussex could access all the expertise and technology they needed on their doorstep.
My vision was a state-of-the art fertility clinic that could offer the latest scientific technology and excellent results, like the renowned London IVF clinics, but with a much greater focus on a patient’s need for emotional support and personalised care. My own experience of working in London as a gynaecologist had made me appreciate that many people who are unable to have children without medical help are faced with a daunting and often challenging life event; falling into the wrong hands left some emotionally scarred and often unable to continue with their journey to parenthood. I believed that many large IVF clinics were failing their patients by being over medicalised, impersonal, and unable to offer the human factor that is so important in a successful and happy outcome.
I wanted to establish a clinic where each and every patient would feel welcome, find their concerns listened to and understood, and care individualised to their needs. To achieve this, I enlisted the help of a multi-talented team – from scientific experts to interior designers – to achieve the right balance between the spa-like reception area and consulting rooms and the clinical environment in the treatment and laboratory areas that are equipped with the latest cutting edge scientific equipment. And so the Agora Gynaecology & Fertility Centre in Hove was born…
As the Medical Director, I have always chosen to have a very hands-on approach. I appointed every single member of staff myself and ensure that my team works closely together, following my philosophy of providing the best in patient care. I recognise that I am very fortunate to be a mother myself and feel passionately about helping others create a family of their own.
Seven years after opening its doors, the Agora is well established as one of the best fertility clinics in the South of England, with excellent results that are in line with the top IVF clinics in London. But it sets itself apart by offering a more personal touch every step of the way. Every member of my team is mindful of the fact that having a baby with the help of IVF can be a tremendous emotional roller coaster journey and with no guarantee of success. That is why patient support is central to our clinic’s philosophy.
Large NHS hospitals frequently suffer from outdated systems and poor management. The Agora was one of the first IVF clinics in the country to open with a Quality Management System in place (ISO 2008: 9001). This means every aspect of the service has had to conform to the highest standards and that the patient’s voice is always heard. Well over 60% of our work is with patients lucky enough to have NHS funding for their treatment, but the interface between NHS and private care is seamless and everyone receives the very best we can offer.
I am proud to lead a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists and administrative staff. Whilst the best part of our job is when a treatment has been successful, we are the first to support our patients through the inevitable disappointments. We recognise that our work is not complete until we have helped all our patients achieve parenthood.