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NHS South West Essex resumes IVF funding

23 May 2011

By Kyrillos Georgiadis

Appeared in BioNews 608

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. The suspension of IVF funding was part of a £52 million package of cuts.

'A lot of people were very unhappy about it when it was suspended, but I was always led to believe it would be reinstated at some point. I'm glad that decision has now been taken', Basildon MP Stephen Metcalfe said.

Last October the PCT, which buys health services for Basildon, Thurrock and Brentwood, announced it would restrict IVF to people receiving life-saving treatment or who would pass the age of 40 before the next financial year.

NHS South West Essex was criticised for the move, according to the Echo newspaper. One complaint was the way people were notified, with some women only receiving letters informing them their treatment was cancelled days before they were about to begin.

'We were forced to take a number of actions to make sure we broke even and we actually ended up with a small surplus', a PCT spokeswoman said. 'This allowed the trust to reinstate the funding this financial year'.

Eligible people can now access up to three cycles of IVF. The PCT has contacted women affected by the cancellation of the service to notify them of the change. They are advised to contact their clinic to discuss how to restart treatment.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Echo, Basildon, Essex | 20 May 2011
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

08 December 2014 - by Sean Byrne 
The NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group has agreed to fund one cycle of IVF, having at one time been the only CCG not to offer the treatment at all after funding was suspended in 2010....
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'...
01 October 2012 - by Jessica Ware 
NHS Fife will no longer provide fertility treatment to couples if either of them smokes, or if the woman is overweight. In the same week, the Scottish Government has pledged to invest £12 million over the next three years to reduce waiting times for infertility treatment across Scotland...
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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...

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....
28 March 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
Bury NHS trust in Greater Manchester has reinstated fertility treatment after suspending the service in September 2010 due to financial constraints....
28 February 2011 - by Leo Perfect 
Harrow Primary Care Trust (PCT) has reversed its decision to suspend IVF treatment and has adopted a unified policy across neighbouring PCTs in North West London to offer one full cycle of IVF to eligible patients....
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...
13 December 2010 - by Nishat Hyder 
UK health minister Andrew Lansley has expressed concern over the temporary suspension of IVF treatment by several NHS Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) across the country due to financial strain....

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