Wirral health bosses to cut NHS IVF

Wirral CCG is to cut the number of NHS IVF cycles it offers from 3 to 2

Wirral clinical commissioning group is to reduce the number of NHS IVF cycles it provides from 3 to 2 and will also introduce new restrictions regarding access to NHS fertility services. These include: using restrictions around body mass index (BMI) and the smoking status of both partners;
the eligibility threshold for IVF for period of trying to conceive will be increased from 2 years to 3 years for unexplained infertility (age to be taken into account);
stopping routine funding of surgical sperm recovery, individual funding request for patients with genetic conditions;
stopping routine funding of donor oocyte cycle;
stopping routine funding of sperm insemination unless part of an IVF cycle;
stopping routine funding of intrauterine Insemination (IUI) unstimulated.

Four other local CCGs are consulting on similar measures and are due to announce their decisions in the coming weeks. They are: Eastern Cheshire CCG, South Cheshire CCG, Vale Royal CCG and West Cheshire CCG.

Commenting on the decision, Susan Seenan, chief executive ofFertility Network UK and co-chair of campaign group Fertility Fairness said: ‘ For people with fertility problems, 3 full cycles of IVF offers the best possible chance of success – of becoming a parent; that is why this is the national recommended treatment. To deny couples access to the recommended treatment because of where people live is cruel and unethical and will be devastating for all those affected.’

‘In the last 24 months we have seen 1 in 10 CCGs announce funding cuts or consultations around cuts. We’re now in the appalling situation where 4 areas in England do not offer any NHS IVF at all, and the overwhelming majority of CCGs – 84 per cent – do not offer the recommended 3 full cycles of IVF. This is a national disgrace for the country that pioneered IVF.’
If you are affected by this and are happy to comment to the media, please email Catherine Hill at media@fertilitynetworkuk.org