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Mid Essex: Only HIV and cancer patients could be eligible for IVF

28 July 2014

By Ruth Retassie

Appeared in BioNews 764

Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has proposed to limit access to IVF to cancer patients and HIV-positive men under its options for reform to the funding of its fertility services. 

Mid Essex CCG funds fertility services for around 70 to 100 people each year but said changes are needed to help reduce its budget deficit. The CCG anticipates a £15.7 million deficit this year, but by adding restrictions to its fertility services it aims to save up to £550,000 each year. Its current annual budget for fertility services, including IVF, intrauterine insemination and donor insemination is £750,000.

The CCG has published three proposals for consultation. The first proposal is to continue funding under its current policy, which provides funding for up to three cycles, but it says this option will not produce any cost savings.

Under its second proposal, the CCG is considering permitting only one cycle of IVF, rather than the three cycles recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which could result in savings of up to £250,000.

The third proposal involves limiting access to fertility treatment to cancer patients and HIV-positive men, which the CCG estimates could save up to £550,000. The CCG has stated that this is its 'preferred option'.

The CCG's medical director, Donald McGeachy, said: 'In Mid Essex we have to manage a complex set of circumstances that are currently pushing our spending over the limits of our funding allocation. It's important that we take some difficult decisions now to secure the financial position for future healthcare'.

The CCG aims to consider all feedback submitted by 8 September 2014. It says it will take into consideration not only the views of experts and local residents, but also the pressure on its financial resources as well as national guidelines.

Commenting on the proposals, chief executive of Infertility Network UK, Susan Seenan, said: 'The things they are suggesting are just appalling, really shocking. It's unbelievable that they are even thinking about restrictions like this'.

The charity said that the CCG's proposals are potentially discriminatory.

Health Service Journal | 21 July 2014
Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group | 21 July 2014
BBC News | 24 July 2014
Daily Telegraph | 21 July 2014


01 September 2015 - by Kirsty Oswald 
Researchers in the USA have found that fertility concerns may be contributing to low tamoxifen use and discontinuation of the drug among reproductive-age breast cancer patients...
29 September 2014 - by Siobhan Chan 
Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group has announced it will no longer be funding IVF except under 'clinically exceptional circumstances'...
22 September 2014 - by Rebecca Carr 
Research conducted by the campaign group Fertility Fairness has uncovered significant variations in the amount that NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are paying for one cycle of IVF treatment....
11 August 2014 - by Ari Haque 
A fertility clinic in Manchester has launched a new scheme that will give a refund to patients who fail to have a baby after undertaking IVF treatment...

09 June 2014 - by Purvi Shah 
The Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group has agreed in principle to fund IVF treatment for couples in the area, although a formal decision on the matter will be made at a later date....
19 May 2014 - by Rebecca Carr 
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published a set of draft statements that aim to 'eliminate' current geographical disparities in access to fertility treatment...
14 April 2014 - by Cait McDonagh 
A Crohn's disease patient is challenging a decision to refuse her funding for her eggs to be cryopreserved before she undergoes a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy...
27 January 2014 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
A recent survey carried out by the National Infertility Awareness Campaign (NIAC) found that 73 percent of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are not funding the recommended cycles of IVF treatment....

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