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Bury PCT reinstates funding for fertility treatment

28 March 2011

By Kyrillos Georgiadis

Appeared in BioNews 601

Bury NHS trust in Greater Manchester, UK, has reinstated fertility treatment after suspending the service in September 2010 due to financial constraints.

Health chiefs in Bury had taken the action because the trust was overspending by about £1.3 million a month, and decided to cancel fertility treatment for those not at a 'critical age'. They also axed weight-loss surgery, postponed cosmetic surgery and imposed strict criteria for hip and knee replacements. Other action included educating people about the right NHS service to use, to reduce unnecessary accident and emergency visits which cost £1 million a year.

The trust says that these measures have been successful and they have reduced costs by more than £700,000 a month and are now looking to reverse some of the measures, despite admitting that 2011/12 will be a challenging year during which they will need to save a further £25 million. However managers are confident they can achieve this after receiving additional funding of about £18 million from the regional health organisation, NHS North West.

Bury NHS trust will now resume funding up to three cycles of IVF treatment for couples who meet the NHS criteria. Furthermore, the Trust board promised to review the restrictions imposed on other treatments, but all referrals for hospital care will be scrutinised by the north-east sector gateway, which also includes Oldham, Heywood and Middleton and Rochdale PCTs, to check they fit strict criteria before being passed to hospitals.

Mr Paul Horrocks, chair of NHS Bury, told Manchester Evening News that he hoped the trust 'will start living within its means' by June 2011. Managers saved £10 million this year by negotiating a 'capping' deal with Pennine Acute Trust, which runs hospitals in Bury, North Manchester, Rochdale and Oldham, and will further reduce running costs by £2 million once the Greater Manchester 'super PCT' is established in spring 2011. This will also pave the way for the switch to GP-led healthcare by 2013.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Manchester Evening News | 23 March 2011
 
IVF treatment is reinstated
The Guide – Prestwich and Whitefield | 24 March 2011
 
Primary Care Trust (PCT) | 25 March 2011
 
BBC News Manchester | 22 March 2011
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

14 November 2011 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
NHS Surrey will reinstate free IVF treatment on 1 April 2012, following a year's suspension to cut costs...
13 June 2011 - by Toby Stead 
A recent report by UK politicians has found widespread inconsistencies in the provision of fertility treatment by the NHS...
23 May 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
NHS South West Essex has reinstated funding for IVF seven months after suspending the service. The move comes after the PCT reduced running costs by £400,000 last year to financially break even...
03 May 2011 - by Sarah Pritchard 
NHS Warwickshire is to resume providing fertility services this month after it suspended many routine procedures last summer amid financial concerns....
04 April 2011 - by Dr Marianne Kennedy 
Couples struggling to conceive face more disappointment as NHS North Yorkshire and York joins a growing number of trusts restricting access to IVF after it decided to suspend funding for assisted conception services, save for those who demonstrate a 'clinical exception'....

21 March 2011 - by Ayesha Ahmad 
A recent survey has found that two thirds of women would consider moving to another area of the UK to access IVF on the NHS....
14 March 2011 - by Sujatha Jayakody 
West Cheshire will decide this month whether to become the latest region to suspend NHS-funded IVF treatment. The West Cheshire Health Consortium, which is made up of 38 GP practices, claims it needs to cut IVF to deliver healthcare to its aging population...
20 December 2010 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
West Sussex NHS trust is the latest NHS trust to suspend funding of fertility treatment as managers try to cut spending by 50 million. Now patients across the county face months of delays for treatment...
06 December 2010 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
Stockport NHS Trust has announced it is to stop funding IVF treatment for new patients. The Primary Care Trust (PCT), which is attempting to implement spending cuts totalling £21 million, will allow patients currently on its IVF waiting list to receive one cycle of treatment...
21 December 2009 - by Dr Vivienne Raper 
The NHS must improve access to IVF, according to a new policy briefing from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN)...

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