Decision to cut IVF treatment in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire to be reviewed

The decision to cut IVF treatment in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire is to be reviewed.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 8:10 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 9:15 am
IVF cuts are to be reviewed

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced in September 2017 it was to stop routinely commissioning any specialist fertility services other than for two specified exceptions - for patients undergoing cancer treatment and for men who have a chronic viral infection.

The cut was confirmed despite more than 80 per cent of respondents to a public consultation opposing the cost-cutting measure.

It was expected to save the CCG £700,000 a year to help it tackle a multi-million pound deficit.

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According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which provides national guidance, women aged under 40 should be offered three cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS.

Opposition to the cut has continued with Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough calling for IVF treatment to be reinstated.

When it announced the cut the CCG said it would automatically review its decision in April 2019. A spokeswoman for the health body said a decision will now be made at its board meeting in May in Huntingdon.

She added: “Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG ran a public consultation in 2017 on a temporary suspension of specialist fertility services. Following the consultation the CCG Governing Body agreed, on September 5, 2017, to suspend routinely commissioning specialist fertility services.

“This decision will be reviewed at our next public Governing Body meeting on May 14, 2019.

“Anyone with fertility problems can to go to their GP who can discuss with them the treatment options available. Couples can still be referred on to hospital for further tests to investigate the cause of their infertility. Many causes of infertility can be successfully treated without the need to go on to IVF.”