Cambridgeshire and Peterborough suspends NHS IVF for at least 18 months

Suspension of NHS IVF devastating for patients already waiting unnecessarily long times

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough clinical commissioning group (CCG) has suspended access to NHS IVF for at least 18 months effective immediately, despite overwhelming public support for NHS fertility services to be continued.

Chief executive of national charity Fertility Network UK, Susan Seenan, said: ‘We are extremely concerned about the effect this lengthy 18-month suspension of NHS fertility services will have on patients. Couples with fertility problems are already waiting unnecessarily long times: in order to be referred by a GP for fertility tests couples have had to have been trying and failing to conceive for 3 years; to now be told there is an additional wait of at least 18 months will be devastating and for some will make the difference between success and failure. It is harsh in the extreme and completely against current national guidelines set by NICE.’

‘Infertility has a serious and lasting impact on all those affected and to suspend medical help is unethical and a short-sighted and false economy. Fertility problems do not just affect people physically, but mentally too: 90% of people experience depression; 42% suicidal thoughts and relationships are affected (70%). England pioneered IVF approaching 40 years ago but that achievement literally means nothing if only those who can pay for IVF benefit from it. We urge anyone affected by NHS IVF funding cuts to join our #IVFGoldStandard patient campaign at

Sarah Norcross, co-chair of campaign group Fertility Fairness said: ‘This is terrible news for patients and for NHS fertility services in England, and is an absolute disgrace for the country that pioneered IVF nearly 40 years ago; prompt access to IVF is crucial for patients to have the best chance of success.’

‘Denying access to NHS-funded IVF is associated with health risks and economic consequences. Patients who are forced to self-fund treatment often travel overseas for treatment choosing multiple embryo transfer rather than single embryo transfer. Multiple embryo transfers are more likely to result in multiple births which pose greater health risks for both the mother and the twins/multiples with associated high healthcare costs.’

Further information about the decision is available at

The public consultation results are available at