Fresh agony for would-be parents in battle over county’s IVF service
NHS-funded IVF treatment in Cambridgeshire was suspended in September 2017
Would-be parents in Cambridgeshire are devastated after a decision on whether to reinstate free IVF services has been put back.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Cinical Commissioning Group (CPCCG) suspended NHS-funded IVF in September 2017, and had been due to make a decision on reinstating it on Tuesday (May 14).
But a statement released after the CCG board’s meeting that day said: “Due to the extension of the pre-election period for European Elections and the Peterborough by-election, we will not be bringing our findings and recommendations in relation to specialist fertility services to our May meeting, but will be discussing this after the election period.”
The announcement has led to some angry outbursts on social media with one woman from Peterboroughposting: “These delays are utterly disgraceful. People have hopes and lives waiting on these decisions, decisions that have already been delayed far too long. You are playing with emotions, delaying indefinitely again – I feel so sorry for all the people hanging on hoping and waiting.”
A man from Cambridgeshire said: “My wife and I have been waiting for this day for months. I’ve just had to show this to her and she’s devastated. The incompetence is staggering. We now have to put our lives on hold indefinitely even longer. Shambolic.”
While another woman from Peterborough added: “We had everything crossed that we would stop being in the 3% of heartless districts that offer no cycles. I am so upset that our future hopes have just been crossed out on an agenda with a swift pen stroke without a thought of the consequences.”
The decision to delay the announcement by the Board of Directors of the CCG has not satisfied people on social media. Another woman from the Peterborough area said: “Any explanation as to why, or what relevance it has? Twice this has been pushed back now. This is like dangling candy in front of a baby and constantly snatching it away. Clearly there is no regard for the emotions of those it involves, as if the situation isn’t hard enough.”
Free fertility treatment on the NHS was scrapped in Cambridgeshire in 2017 in order to save £700,000 a year according to the CCG.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area became the third place in the UK to withdraw free IVF treatment through the NHS, despite Government guidelines recommending that women under 40 should be offered a minimum of three free cycles if they have been trying to conceive for three years or more.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG said: “The decision to delay the announcement of our findings is regrettable but necessary in the current political climate; we will make an announcement as to a new date when our findings and recommendations will be announced.”