HC Deb 09 April 2003 vol 403 c317W
Dr. Fox

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what investigation his Department is carrying out into procedures at Leeds General Infirmary Assisted Conception Unit; and whether the results of the inquiry will be made public. [106853]

Ms Blears

An independent investigation has been commissioned by the Department into events at Leeds General Infirmary. This followed reports of the birth of twins who had been conceived by in-vitro fertilisation using the wrong sperm. We are expecting to receive the report of the investigation during the summer. These matters are now the subject of proceedings in the High Court as well as an injunction preventing identification of the parties. For these reasons we have not yet made a decision about publication of the investigation report or any part of it.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is responsible for regulating and inspecting clinics that offer assisted conception treatment. The HFEA has revised its guidelines to clinics in the light of this incident to ensure that they have robust systems in place to prevent similar errors. They have issued guidance on "double witnessing", requiring licensed clinics to have in place procedures to double check the identification of the people undergoing treatment and of the sperm and eggs being used.