Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook



 

NHS IVF no longer available in county that pioneered it

11 September 2017

By Dr Mary Yarwood

Appeared in BioNews 917

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)  has removed funding for free IVF treatment, despite being the county where the procedure was first developed 40 years ago.

It is the third CCG in the UK to remove NHS funding for IVF, following Essex and Croydon. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG estimates that the move will save £700,000 a year.

Dr Mike Macnamee is CEO of Bourn Hall Fertility Clinic in Cambridge, where the world's first IVF techniques were developed (see Call to remember 'forgotten' IVF pioneer in this week's BioNews). He told Cambridge News: 'It is very sad that the CCG has decided to cut all funding for IVF as we know this will be devastating to many people. Infertility is a recognised disease and impacts the quality of life for those affected and their wider families.'

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that three courses of NHS IVF treatment should be offered to women under the age of 40.

Another concern shared by Dr Macnamee is that reductions in NHS provision would lead to more patients seeking treatment overseas, where treatment is cheaper. Differences in regulation may also make multiple births more likely.

'People think "twins, that's a bonus",' he said. 'But it isn't really, because usually twins or triplets are born early and may have other complications.'

'IVF is more expensive in the UK than other countries because of strict regulations ensuring very high standards of expertise and care. Removing the funding will encourage more people to go overseas, increasing the chance of multiple births…Just three sets of triplets will wipe out any saving,' said Dr Macnamee.

Dr Gary Howsam, chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, told the BBC that it was financially necessary to suspend NHS IVF funding and that the move was 'one of the hardest decisions we've had to take'.

'I think there's a recognition that the NHS funding situation is desperate in our region,' he said. 'The CCG has finite resources to fund a whole range of health services and treatments. We need to save £46.5 million this financial year, and so we have had to review all areas of our spending and to make some difficult decisions.'

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

09 October 2017 - by Georgia Everett 
For the first time couples in Ireland will be eligible for financial aid for fertility treatments, after the Government signed off new proposals last week...

14 August 2017 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
Funding cuts by the UK's National Health Service has meant that 13 areas in England have restricted or halted IVF treatment since the start of 2017, according to Fertility Network UK...
07 August 2017 - by Sarah Pritchard 
Clinical Commissioning Groups in the Bristol region are the first to propose restricting NHS-funded IVF treatment to women aged 30 to 35 years...
27 March 2017 - by Rikita Patel 
New patients referred for infertility treatment by their doctors will now have access to three cycles of IVF on the NHS in Scotland...
20 March 2017 - by Sarah Pritchard 
Croydon has become the first Clinical Commissioning Group in London to cut funding for all IVF treatment, other than in 'exceptional circumstances'...

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Andy Greenfield

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Henry Malter

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross

Sandy Starr


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation