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Stockport PCT stops IVF funding

6 December 2010
Appeared in BioNews 587

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. Those who have already received one cycle will be allowed one more but no further treatment will be provided thereafter.

Richard Popplewell, the PCT's Chief Executive said: 'We fully appreciate that infertility is a highly emotive issue and our decision will be an unpopular one with some people'. NHS Stockport funds an average of 68 patients a year to receive IVF at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester at an annual cost of around £330,000. It offers up to two cycles of the treatment for eligible couples.

Stockport NHS Trust says it needs to cut back millions of pounds in its spending to be able to maintain frontline services. Health chiefs have already introduced a number of management cuts and a recruitment freeze but say these measures are not enough to enable the trust to balance its books by the end of the financial year. 'We have to make these decisions now as our funding position for future years looks equally challenging', said Mr Popplewell.

The decision to stop IVF funding will be reviewed in a year. A general financial review is underway to ensure that NHS resources are being used correctly and that funding is still available for high priority health needs.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
IVF funding suspended
Stockport PCT NHS |  12/10
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