Peterborough campaigner and city MP welcome review of IVF funding

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has said it plans to review its provision of IVF services across the region following a year long campaign by the Peterborough Telegraph, MP Paul Bristow and campaigner Amber Izzo.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 12:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 12:42 pm
Amber Izzo pictured with husbandd Marco at the Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough awards in 2019 where they were recognised for their work in campaigning on IVF funding.

A CCG Spokesperson told the Peterborough Telegraph: “Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are undertaking a review of the provision of IVF services in our local area, with a paper due to be taken to our July 2021 Governing Body Meeting.”

Brave couples have shared their stories over the last year of how they’ve been affected by infertility; both mentally, physically and financially.

Currently the CCG does not provide funding for specialist fertility services - making Peterborough and Cambridgeshire one of the few areas of the country which do not offer couples IVF treatment.

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The CCG is one of only three trusts across the country which currently offer zero NHS funded rounds of IVF or similar treatments, which goes against current NICE guidelines.

A meeting was held with Peterborough MP Paul Bristow, Fight For IVF campaigner Amber Izzo, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire CCG to discuss the promised review to potentially reinstate NHS funded specialist fertility services across the county.

MP Paul Bristow was pleased with the result from the meeting and is optimistic the services can be reinstated.

He said: “Despite having experience of going through IVF myself, hearing the stories from those brave Peterborough women, that Amber invited to the meeting, was both moving and demonstrates the need for this.

“The bosses from the CCG listened to those stories and I hope will take the message from those brave women very seriously, that you can change this decision and if they don’t: I will continue to campaign with Amber and all loving couples about this and continue to challenge the CCG to change their minds.”

Fight for IVF campaigner, Amber said: “We are so grateful to the CCG for giving us the opportunity to discuss our concerns around their current specialist fertility services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, allowing us to discuss our campaign and our personal experiences as a result of the IVF inequalities.

“I feel this meeting was very positive and are feeling cautiously optimistic, hoping that the CCG takes our comments into consideration when reviewing the IVF policy. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done and what we have achieved so far, and so today was a huge milestone for us regardless of the result of the review.

“I sincerely hope that a positive change is on its way and people living with infertility are finally able to access NHS funded medical treatment.”

The publicly funded CCG rescinded media access to the meeting shortly before it was due to start.

In an email to the Peterborough Telegraph the CCG said: “This is a private meeting we have requested no media are present, as is normal with our MP meetings.”

The Peterborough Telegraph has attended previous meetings with the CCG, MP and campaigners concerning the heart-breaking cuts to the services, but was not given access to the latest meeting.