We got vi­cious hate mail when I be­came first test tube baby .. I hope cou­ples with fer­til­ity prob­lems don’t get that to­day

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - SQUARE EYES -

be­tween £3,000 to £11,000, cou­ples face an in­creas­ing lottery as ac­cess is re­stricted. st 12% of UK clin­i­cal com­mis­sion­ing ups of­fer cou­ples the rec­om­mended e rounds, and seven se treat­ment. Louise has cho­sen the an­niver­sary to re­mind healthcare chiefs that the tech­nique, pi­o­neered by British sci­en­tist Robert Ed­wards and ob­ste­tri­cian Pa­trick Step­toe, was meant for ev­ery­one.

She said: “It must be dev­as­tat­ing for cou­ples to be told there is no help. It is un­fair if it de­pends on where you live as to whether you can get IVF treat­ment or

how much you pay. That sit­u­a­tion is the same in the US, where some in­sur­ance cov­ers IVF but most don’t.

“Ac­cess to treat­ment also varies enor­mously across EU coun­tries.

“My mum and dad were quite poor, when they first got to­gether they were sleep­ing rough in a rail­way car­riage.

“Bob Ed­wards, who pi­o­neered the tech­nique, was keen that it should be some­thing all peo­ple could ben­e­fit from.

THE boss of the world’s first IVF clinic has urged the Health Sec­re­tary to end the pro­ce­dure’s ra­tioning that is trau­ma­tis­ing thou­sands of women.

Dr Mike Mac­namee, who helped build up Cam­bridgeshire’s Bourn Hall clinic, said: “The post­code lottery we are work­ing with at the mo­ment is Of course when money is tight or­gan­i­sa­tions like the NHS have to make tough de­ci­sions.

“In­fer­til­ity is of­ten caused by a med­i­cal or phys­i­cal prob­lem that can be over­come by the right treat­ment and I sup­port those peo­ple cam­paign­ing for it to be avail­able as widely as bud­gets will al­low.” The sons she has with hus­band Wes­ley Mullinder – Cameron, 10, and

scan­dalous. It is such a shame to pick on such a vul­ner­a­ble pa­tient group.”

The 12% of ar­eas in Eng­land now of­fer­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s rec­om­mended three cy­cles is down from 24% in 2013.

NHS Eng­land said: “Par­lia­ment has de­cided these are legally de­ci­sions for clin­i­cal com­mis­sion­ing groups.” Ai­den, four – were con­ceived nat­u­rally but she said if she needed it she would have tried IVF. Ai­den’s mid­dle names are Pa­trick Robert, in a trib­ute to the late pi­o­neer­ing medics.

Louise spoke of the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact in­fer­til­ity can have on men­tal health, after her mother Les­ley was di­ag­nosed with de­pres­sion after fail­ing to con­ceive. Les­ley went on to have Louise’s sis­ter Natalie via IVF but failed to have a third child us­ing the treat­ment.

De­fend­ing the ad­vance­ments in tech­niques, Louise added: “As long as the sci­en­tists and doc­tors act eth­i­cally, and peo­ple un­der­stand the con­se­quences, then it is im­por­tant that progress is made.”

NAPPY DAYS Louise is a cham­pion of fer­til­ity help rights LAND­MARK DAY Les­ley and John with their pre­cious daugh­ter and, left, Louise as a teenage nurs­ery nurse

D ment eer Bob ards at wed­ding 04

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