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NHS North Yorkshire maintains fertility treatment restrictions

4 April 2011
Appeared in BioNews 602

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'.

NHS managers admitted the issue was 'highly emotive' but that difficult decisions had to be made for the trust to remain financially solvent.

Those hoping to receive IVF will now have to meet two criteria in order to be considered for treatment. They must be 'different to the general population of patients who would normally be refused the healthcare intervention', and there must be good grounds to believe that they are 'likely to gain significantly more benefit from the intervention than might be expected for the average patient with that particular condition'. Gender, ethnicity, age, lifestyle and other social factors such as employment or parenthood will not be considered.

Dr David Geddes, medical director of NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: 'Following discussions at the clinically led Integrated Commissioning Executive Committee, NHS North Yorkshire and York has taken the difficult decision to not routinely commission assisted conception services for the 2011/12 financial year'. The decision covers IVF and other assisted conception procedures, but access to non-surgical fertility treatments, such as drug treatments, will not be affected.

Dr Geddes said such difficult decisions were the inevitable consequence of the serious position faced by our health community and that they 'have a duty to protect NHS services for the majority'.


SOURCES & REFERENCES
Commissioning Policy
NHS North Yorkshire and York |  2009
Minutes: Board Meeting 22 March 2011
NHS North Yorkshire and York |  22 March 2011
New blow to IVF couples in North Yorkshire
The Press |  24 March 2011
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