Mid Essex CCG Slashes Funding for IVF Despite National Guidance

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Mid Essex CCG today announced they would defy national guidance and cut all funding for IVF treatment, despite clear recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that up to three full cycles should be provided. The move will mean mid Essex CCG will go from being one of the best providers in the country, to one only two CCGs in England refusing to offer IVF.

Campaign group Fertility Fairness (formerly the National Infertility Awareness Campaign) recently gathered information from all but one of the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across England and this revealed that only one other CCG does not fund IVF treatment, the Vale of York.

Sarah Norcross Co-Chair of Fertility Fairness, said: “The decision from Mid Essex CCG is shocking but sadly not surprising. In a patient survey Fertility Fairness conducted in 2011 the majority of people reported that their GPs were not sympathetic about their infertility, so now GPs make decisions about what to fund we are seeing a reduction in services. The cost of fertility treatment is a tiny fraction of this CCG’s total annual budget but it is viewed as a line in the budget that is easy to cut as people with fertility problems don’t like to complain publically because of the very personal nature of the problem. We urge the CCG to reinstate services at the first opportunity.”

Susan Seenan, Chief Executive of patient charity Infertility Network UK said: “What the CCG has done is totally appalling. There is clear guidance from NICE based on both cost and clinical effectiveness – by ignoring that guidance mid Essex CCG is letting down their patients. Infertility has a huge impact on people’s lives, and denying them access to medical treatment which can help is cruel, unfair, and totally unjustified. In a national health service, no one should be denied medical help because of where they live, and yet that is exactly what mid Essex CCG has done.

Ends

Additional background and briefings:

Press: http://www.fertilityfairness.co.uk/press-briefing-for-the-launch-of-ff-ivf-costs-and-data/
Political: http://www.fertilityfairness.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/FF_Political_Briefing.pdf CCG data: http://www.fertilityfairness.co.uk/nhs-fertility-services/ivf-provision-in-england/

Or contact:

Sarah Norcross

snorcross@progress.org.uk

Tel: 020 7278 7870 Mobile: 07817 439

Notes to Editors:

Susan Seenan

susanseenan@infertilitynetworkuk.com

Tel: 01294 230730 Mobile: 07762 137786