SCOTLAND’S four NHS IVF clinics have been given approval to re-open with services set to restart “in a safe and timely way”. 

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has given the four facilities approval to re-open, the Scottish Government has confirmed. 

Earlier at First Minister’s Questions, Conservative MSP Ruth Davidson, pressed Nicola Sturgeon again on the issue.  

Ms Davidson, who has received IVF treatment herself, pointed to the service being restarted in England.  

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Scotland: IVF treatment to restart 'as quickly as possible'

She asked the First Minister for a commitment that no women, who have seen their treatment paused who turn 40 will be "penalised for crossing that threshold" and see their NHS cycles reduced from three to just one - due to their treatment being postponed. 

Ms Sturgeon that she "will give that assurance". 

She added that she does not want any woman to have their chances to starting a family "taken away from them because of this crisis alone". 

Earlier this month, Ms Davidson raised concerns by one of her constituents who had received a letter saying their IVF cycle had been stopped because of the pandemic.  

Ms Davidson said: "That was one letter, out of hundreds.  

"It is a decision that is both completely understandable but nonetheless devastating, as for many people IVF is the last or only hope of starting a family."  

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Transplants on hold, cancer surgery in limbo, and mental health crises dismissed: the forgotten victims of Covid

Now Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick has confirmed that patients will be contacted for their treatment to be restarted. 

He said: “This is extremely welcoming news and will provide much needed comfort and reassurance to worried patients across Scotland. 

“The Scottish Government wants to reassure patients that we are working with the four IVF centres, alongside the leading patient stakeholder group Fertility Network, to ensure all services resume in a safe and timely way.  

“I also want to reassure those women who are close to the upper age limit for NHS IVF, that they will not be disadvantaged and subject to a clinical assessment, they will still continue to receive treatment. 

“Scotland has the most generous and fairest NHS IVF treatment in the UK and we want to ensure clinics are able to contact patients as quickly as we can safely do so.” 

Chief executive of the fertility network, Gwenda Burns added:  “This has been an extremely difficult and distressing time for patients and we welcome the news that clinics have approval to resume services by the HFEA.  

“We are working closely with clinics and the Scottish Government to ensure that treatment can start as soon as possible while providing a safe service to patients with all the necessary precautions in place.” 

Speaking after the news was revealed, Ms Davidson said: "This announcement to re-open all four of Scotland's NHS IVF centres is a welcome one for all patients where treatment was suspended and all those waiting nervously for help to start a family.

"While IVF is a physical procedure, it is utterly consuming both mentally and emotionally and I know from the sheer number of patients who contacted me, just how difficult the uncertainty of this time has been for those whose treatment was interrupted.

"For the patients concerned, I hope today's announcement heralds a post-Covid mini baby boom."