There’s good news for infertile couples in Scotland, who will now have a maximum 12 month waiting list and receive two full cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS after new criteria was announced.
The new rules will also give women aged 40-42 a full cycle of IVF, with help in place for smokers or those overweight, to ensure they can meet the criteria to be accepted for NHS IVF.
The changes will mean that there is no postcode lottery in place in Scotland anymore, which ensures that everyone – no matter where they live – is subject to the same criteria to access treatment with the same number of cycles offered. It’s great news that the Scottish Government has recognised that there is a need to provide fair, reliable and faster access to IVF treatment, and to do this they are spending £12m over the next three years.
But for the rest of us, postcode still essentially dictates whether you can even get any treatment at all on the NHS. We continue to see a great number of patients here at Manchester Fertility, who are having to opt for private treatment simply because their local Clinical Commissioning Group – formerly Primary Care Trust – won’t fund it. Either because they’re not funding any cycles at all, or the couple has already had their NHS treatment and are not entitled to anymore. For other couples, strict criteria excludes them even if their local NHS does have budget.
Whilst opting for private treatment does give you more freedom to decide where you want IVF – we see many couples travelling from areas across Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and beyond to get help from our fertility specialists – it is possible for you to request that your NHS IVF cycle is carried out at a private clinic rather than your local NHS unit. We have a handy guide to help you apply for this here.
If you cannot get NHS IVF or you are excluded because of criteria, if you’re aged 35 or under you may be eligible for subsidised IVF if you are prepared to share your eggs. Our egg-sharing programme gives you a cycle of IVF with us for £870 inclusive of all drugs and screening. For more details about this, click here.
If you want to talk to someone about your options, please contact our friendly team of Patient Advisors on 0161 300 2730.