Budgets stop health bosses from more IVF
HEALTH bosses have dismissed calls for IVF treatment to be made more readily available in line with NHS guidelines, citing budget restrictions.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in north-west London, which are responsible for organising health services, said they had no plans to start funding three cycles of the fertility treatment, as recommended by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the clinical body that provides guidance to improve NHS standards.
Campaign group Fertility Fairness found that, nationally, fewer than one in five CCGs were funding the recommended three cycles, which cost about £3,000 each, with Camden the only borough meeting this target.
NICE cannot impose its guidelines on CCGs, but has called their decision not to follow its fertility treatment recommendations ‘unacceptable’, saying it perpetuates a ‘postcode lottery’ system.
North West London’s CCGs – covering Hillingdon, Brent, Harrow, Central London, West London, Hounslow, Ealing, and Hammersmith and Fulham – fund only one IVF cycle for women aged up to 39 years old.
CWHHE Clinical Commissioning Groups Collaborative, the umbrella group covering all eight CCGs, said working with limited budgets meant making difficult decisions.