Peterborough Conservative candidate calls for IVF treatment to be reinstated for ‘heartbroken’ parents
The Conservative parliamentary candidate for Peterborough has written to a local health chief calling for routine IVF treatment to be reinstated.
Paul Bristow said he had been contacted by “many couples who are heartbroken at being turned away by the NHS when they have encountered problems in starting a family”.
Writing to Dr Gary Howsam, chair of the clinical and governing board at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Mr Bristow said: “Speaking personally, being a father is the most important thing that I have ever done and the joy of parenthood is unrivalled.
“I know not everyone can become a parent. But the idea that this joy can denied to eager couples in Peterborough on cost grounds, and when national guidance states support should be there, simply seems unjust.”
The CCG announced in September 2017 it was to stop routinely commissioning any specialist fertility services in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire other than for two specified exceptions - for patients undergoing cancer treatment and for men who have a chronic viral infection.
That decision is now due to be reviewed at a board meeting in May.
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.
There has been large opposition to the removal of routine IVF treatment, especially as, 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.