Cuts to IVF have led to 'postcode lottery' in England, campaigners say

Barsaba Taglieri
Agosto 7, 2017

WOMEN over the age of 35 could be denied IVF in some areas of England, as NHS trusts are considering rationing the fertility treatment.

Anya Sizer, regional co-ordinator at Fertility Network UK, told Sky News there were "massive discrepancies" between areas in what amounted to a "postcode lottery".

But just 27 of England's 207 Clinical Commissioning Groups, which decide on care by area in England, now meet the criteria - a decrease of 46% in under five years.

But now, three NHS providers in the West Country are considering restricting IVF to women aged 30 to 35 who are struggling to conceive.

Fertility Network UK has branded the rules introduced by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as "deliberate inequality".

In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling on the local CCG to abandon plans to cut IVF funding.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health said: "Fertility problems can have a serious and lasting impact on families and the NHS should provide access to services, including IVF, for all patients that meet the criteria set out by independent experts at NICE".

He added: "If the country decides it will not fund IVF then fine, that is a decision that affects everyone.but what I can not abide is the local variation for something like this, which doesn't reflect local populations".

Croydon has already become the first London borough to stop funding IVF.

Dr Gary Howsam, chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, said: 'We are now in the hard position where we have to evaluate every service we commission'.

'Clinical evidence shows that treatment between the ages of 30-35 offers the highest possible chance of success.' A cycle of IVF typically costs the NHS £5,000.

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