New contract for NHS-funded IVF described as a "lifesaver" by Peterborough couple

IVF Services were reinstated on the NHS in Peterborough following a campaign in 2021.
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Bourn Hall has been awarded a new contract by the NHS to run IVF services in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.

The service resumed on the NHS in Cambridgeshire- after being previously unavailable- in July 2021 following a campaign by Amber Izzo, the Peterborough Telegraph and Peterborough MP Paul Bristow.

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The new contract to supply treatment has now been formalised and awarded to Bourn Hall, the world’s first IVF clinic, which provides NHS-funded IVF for all regions of the East of England and East Midlands.

Kelly and Dan with their son Harlan-Ray.Kelly and Dan with their son Harlan-Ray.
Kelly and Dan with their son Harlan-Ray.

Bourn Hall Fertility clinic was re-awarded a contract for the service on technical merit, which included a high technical score and success rates, technical skill, quality of care and service delivery. There are no waiting times for treatment at Bourn Hall and 60% of patients under the age of 35 have a baby following one egg collection procedure.

Kelly Kew from Peterborough was only 22 when she was told that several ectopic pregnancies had damaged her tubes and she would struggle to have a baby naturally. At that time- five years ago- NHS funding for fertility treatment was not available in Peterborough so she started saving for private IVF treatment.

Then in July 2021 Kelly and husband Dan heard the good news that IVF treatment would be available on the NHS to people living in Cambridgeshire, and, having done their research, chose Bourn Hall for treatment. It was successful first time and their son Harlan-Ray was born just before Christmas.

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“NHS funding gave us a lifeline,” said Kelly. “I was under so much stress I had to resign from work to concentrate on treatment; the thought of paying for it would have added so much more pressure.

Kelly with her son Harlan-Ray.Kelly with her son Harlan-Ray.
Kelly with her son Harlan-Ray.

“Being infertile is isolating. I wanted a child before all my friends, and they were all on number two or three before I had even got pregnant. I blocked myself off from them and have lost a lot of friends.

“Now I have Harlan I wouldn’t change any of it. I am enjoying being a stay-at-home mum and in the future, I would like to become a midwife or a fertility nurse. I have learnt so much on my fertility journey and I would love to be able to help others.”

Dr Thanos Papathanasiou, CEO and Medical Director at Bourn Hall Clinic, said: “Infertility is a medical condition, which also has an impact on mental health and relationships.

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“The re-introduction of funding is already making a huge difference to couples struggling with infertility, as Kelly and Dan were. Removing the postcode lottery is now enabling everyone who meets the criteria to have the chance of a baby.

"The majority of people conceive naturally within two years, so if couples have been trying for longer than this, they should talk to their GP in the first instance and gain expert advice. “We are always happy to talk to people about their fertility health; not everyone needs IVF to conceive, and we offer advice and treatment that is tailored for the patient.”