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Anger as York backtracks on IVF funding promise

11 August 2014
Appeared in BioNews 766

NHS bosses in York have been accused of backtracking on a promise to restart funding for IVF treatment, disappointing an estimated 110 couples requiring treatment in the area.

The NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the only CCG in the UK to not offer at least one cycle of IVF, funding for which had been suspended in 2010 by the former Primary Care Trust. However, the CCG had agreed in principle to restart funding last June (reported in BioNews 757).

Dr Tim Hughes, a GP and a member of the Vale of York CCG, said the decision not to commence funding IVF was made with a 'heavy heart'.

'To put this into perspective, in a year, £2m equates to either two fully staffed and operational hospital wards, 293 major hip replacements, treatment for more than 21,500 average attendances at Accident and Emergency or 43 qualified nurses employed full time for a year', he explained.

IVF campaigner Karen Boardman, who with her husband has contributed their savings to pay for one private cycle of IVF, said that because of the low success rate they had hoped the NHS would provide them with a second chance to conceive. 'I can't believe they can give us so much hope and then take it away', she said.

'I thought it was supposed to be a national health service. I could understand the financial argument, but places like Leeds and Hull will happily fund IVF'.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that eligible women aged under 40 with unexplained fertility should be offered three cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS, but funding decisions are made at a local level by CCGs and many do not offer the recommended number of cycles.

The NHS Vale of York CCG's governing body has agreed to revisit the decision later on during this financial year.

5 October 2015 - by Kirsty Oswald 
North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group has announced that it is ending its IVF funding, and fertility treatment will only be available to specific groups of patients...
8 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....
27 October 2014 - by Sean Byrne 
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a quality standard that aims to bring an end to a 'postcode lottery' in the provision of fertility services on the NHS, which it says is restricting access to treatment....
22 September 2014 - by Rebecca Carr 
Research conducted by the campaign group Fertility Fairness has uncovered significant variations in the amount that NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are paying for one cycle of IVF treatment....
9 June 2014 - by Purvi Shah 
The Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group 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....
27 January 2014 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
A recent survey carried out by the National Infertility Awareness Campaign (NIAC) found that 73 percent of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are not funding the recommended cycles of IVF treatment....
10 December 2012 - by Ari Haque 
A couple who was refused fertility treatment on the NHS for being 'too old' has said it intends to challenge the decision in the courts, arguing that the decision amounts to age discrimination....
9 July 2012 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
The funding of fertility treatment in the UK is among the lowest in Europe, according to a new study presented at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology's annual meeting in Istanbul...
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