11 August 2014
ByAppeared in BioNews 766
The NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the only CCG in the UK to not offer at least one cycle of IVF, funding for which had been suspended in 2010 by the former Primary Care Trust. However, the CCG had agreed in principle to restart funding last June (reported in BioNews 757).
Dr Tim Hughes, a GP and a member of the Vale of York CCG, said the decision not to commence funding IVF was made with a 'heavy heart'.
'To put this into perspective, in a year, £2m equates to either two fully staffed and operational hospital wards, 293 major hip replacements, treatment for more than 21,500 average attendances at Accident and Emergency or 43 qualified nurses employed full time for a year', he explained.
IVF campaigner Karen Boardman, who with her husband has contributed their savings to pay for one private cycle of IVF, said that because of the low success rate they had hoped the NHS would provide them with a second chance to conceive. 'I can't believe they can give us so much hope and then take it away', she said.
'I thought it was supposed to be a national health service. I could understand the financial argument, but places like Leeds and Hull will happily fund IVF'.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that eligible women aged under 40 with unexplained fertility should be offered three cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS, but funding decisions are made at a local level by CCGs and many do not offer the recommended number of cycles.
The NHS Vale of York CCG's governing body has agreed to revisit the decision later on during this financial year.