Bud­gets stop health bosses from more IVF

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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