With the news that Richmond CCG in London is proposing to limit NHS IVF to only those left infertile through chronic viruses or cancer, and local Wirral CCG here in the North West reducing NHS IVF cycles whilst imposing stricter criteria, IVF on the NHS is becoming increasingly difficult to access for many infertile couples.
Some of those affected are now even resorting to online ‘crowdfunding’ to try to meet the cost of private treatment through the kindness of strangers, having no access to NHS IVF where they live.
This is because Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) around England and Wales control each of their local NHS budgets, individually deciding what gets spent on which treatments.
Regardless of what the national NICE guidelines advise for access to NHS IVF, CCGs have the final say – it’s why currently over 98% of CCGs actually don’t follow NICE guidelines in full.
This has led to an IVF ‘postcode lottery’, where access to NHS IVF treatment is governed by where you live and the criteria decided by the CCG you fall under. So your CCG may have decided to offer you an NHS IVF cycle, but only if you don’t smoke, aren’t obese or have any children from previous relationships.
National charity Fertility Network UK, and lobbying group Fertility Fairness are working hard campaigning to make NHS IVF equal fair for all, including Fertility Network’s Patient Day of Action on Saturday 25 March.
But what can you do if you can’t get NHS IVF where you live and you need help to have a baby?
At Manchester Fertility we understand the financial strain and risk that private IVF can carry. It’s why we were the first clinic in the UK to introduce an IVF Refund plan, that not only offers discounted private IVF but a money-back guarantee if you don’t have a baby.
We’ve ensured we have funding options for the most common treatments: IVF, ICSI, IVF with donor eggs and donor sperm insemination. All designed to give you the peace of mind of fixed costs and the best chance of a baby through multiple cycles.
If you prefer to pay for treatment as you go along, our transparent prices and fully-costed treatment plans upfront give you the reassurance of no hidden extras.
If you can get NHS CCG where you live, you may also be able to transfer your treatment to us. Some CCGs aren’t opposed to a transfer of your NHS IVF funding to a private IVF clinic, as long as you can give good reasons. We’ve helped many NHS patients to successfully do this, who have left our care as parents thanks to our unique approach, tailored treatments and state-of-the-art techniques.
If you’d like to know more about how we can help you, speak to our friendly Patient Advisors on 0161 300 2730 or book in for a free, informal one-to-one with one of our Patient Advisors who can answer any questions you have and take you on a tour of our Cheshire clinic.
You can start your journey by self-referring here and we’ll make you an initial appointment.
You can also come and meet us at next month’s Fertility Show. We’ll be at the event at Manchester Central on 25 and 26 March. Book your tickets here.