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Changes afoot in York, last place in UK not to fund IVF

9 June 2014
Appeared in BioNews 757

The Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has agreed in principle to fund IVF treatment for couples in the area, although a formal decision on the matter will be made at a later date.

The NHS Vale of York CCG continued a policy of not funding IVF treatment that was adopted by the former Primary Care Trust in 2010, from which it inherited £3.5 million of debt.

A CCG spokeswoman said: 'Members of the NHS Vale of York CCG Governing Body met today and agreed in principle to make IVF available to couples in the Vale of York via a joint commissioning approach with NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG'.

A final decision will be reached on 19 June.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) fertility guideline states that eligible women aged under 40 with unexplained fertility should be offered three cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS.

Although a number of CCGs do not provide the recommended number of IVF cycles, York remains the last place in the UK not to offer any cycles of IVF funded by the NHS after Scarborough and Ryedale CCG decided to reintroduce funding for the procedure, the York Press reports.

One IVF cycle costs the NHS up to £3,600, with additional drug charges. This cost can be even greater for couples who have to resort to private treatment.

The Yorkshire Post reports that approximately 3,000 couples a year seek IVF treatment in York, with the majority funding it themselves. If the CCG was to keep in line with the NICE fertility guideline then it is estimated IVF treatment would cost the trust £14 million a year, the newspaper states.

Vale of York CCG recently reported 'the aspiration of the CCG to be a NICE-compliant body with regard to IVF', said BBC News.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
IVF looks set to be offered in York
York Press |  6 June 2014
NHS chiefs are latest to relax rules on fertility treatment in the region
Yorkshire Post |  29 May 2014
Vale of York IVF funding agreed 'in principle'
BBC News |  5 June 2014
York to be only place in UK not to offer IVF
York Press |  30 May 2014
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