This site is intended for health professionals only


PCTs warned on cuts to fertility services



By Charlotte Barnes

NHS bosses warned PCTs against saving money by suspending or tightening the criteria for couples to receive IVF services.

The letter – from Deputy NHS chief executive David Flory – says all PCTs should ‘have regard’ to NICE guidance that states all eligible patients should be provided with access to three rounds of fertility treatment.

A Pulse investigation in September last year revealed nine trusts had not funded any requests for IVF treatment in the last two years, and the letter from Mr Flory is directed at those ramping up the criteria for eligible patients or ‘the small number of PCTs addressing current financial challenges that have temporarily suspended local NHS provision of IVF services’

Deputy NHS chief executive David Flory, says in the letter: ‘It is important that those involved in commissioning fertility services have regard to the guideline as it currently stands.

‘I am aware that many PCTs have made successful progress in implementing the existing NICE recommendations. I hope that their achievements can inspire those who have not yet made the same progress to move more rapidly towards implementation.’

Mr Tony Rutherford, chair of the British Fertility Society and consultant gynaecologist at the Leeds General Infirmary, said GPs’ inability to refer infertile patients for IVF meant patients were being denied a ‘fundamental right’.

Credit K PCTs warned on cuts to fertility services