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Another U-turn as York agrees to fund IVF

8 December 2014
Appeared in BioNews 783

The NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) 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.

The decision to fund one cycle of IVF will take effect immediately and is subject to a number of criteria. The intended mother must be 23 to 39 years old, have a BMI of 19 to 29 and be in a stable cohabiting relationship for at least two years. Both partners must be non-smokers and must have no existing children from the current or any previous relationship, including by adoption.

Dr Emma Broughton, the Vale of York CCG's clinical lead for women's health, said: 'I am delighted that the Governing Body has formally agreed the criteria and changed the CCG's commissioning position.'

Plans to fund IVF in the Vale of York were agreed in principle in June (reported in BioNews 757), but the plans were shelved the following August (reported in BioNews 766). At the time the CCG said it would consider to its position again later in the financial year.

Susan Seenan, co-chair of Fertility Fairness, welcomed the news. She told the Yorkshire Post: 'It's way past time they did fund treatment for patients in the York area because for far too long they have been denied access to it.'

'One cycle of IVF is a step in the right direction although official guidance is to fund up to three cycles,' she added. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence recommends that three cycles of IVF treatment are offered to eligible women under 40 years old on the NHS, and that eligible woman aged 40 to 42 years old are offered one cycle.

Elsewhere, Mid-Essex CCG has announced recently that it will no longer fund IVF except in 'clinically exceptional circumstances' (reported in BioNews 773). Devon CCG is also considering ending its funding of IVF, reports Fertility Fairness.

In Vitro Fertilisation services in the Vale of York
NHS Vale of York CCG |  4 December 2014
IVF ban to be lifted by NHS chiefs
Yorkshire Post |  29 November 2014
IVF commissioning plan for the Vale of York is given the green light
NHS Vale of York CCG (press release) |  4 December 2014
IVF treatment to be offered to couples in Vale of York
The York Press |  4 December 2014
Vale of York health bosses' fertility treatment U-turn
BBC News |  4 December 2014
18 April 2016 - by Dr Mary Yarwood 
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is consulting the public on whether to remove all funding for IVF treatment, apart from for special medical exceptions...
28 February 2016 - by Rikita Patel 
Somerset CCG has announced that its provision of NHS-funded IVF will be reduced from two cycles to one...
2 November 2015 - by Rebecca Carr 
The number of CCGs in England offering the recommended number of IVF cycles to its patients is falling, with two CCGs in Essex decommissioning their assisted conception services altogether...
30 March 2015 - by Vicky Whitehead 
In England, the IVF postcode lottery impacts on every different level of a patient's NHS treatment in a myriad of ways. Not only is there widespread variation in who can access treatment and the number of IVF cycles available, but even in how a cycle is defined...
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....
11 August 2014 - by Ayesha Ahmad 
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...
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....
23 May 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
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...
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