Last May North Staffordshire PCT set aside £400,000 to fund IVF treatment to March this year after previously offering no treatment at all – with over half of that money going to couples who were already waiting for IVF in Newcastle-under-Lyme and the Staffordshire Moorlands.
The move brought the area into line with the IVF policy in neighbouring Stoke on Trent, but now there will be many couples in Stoke, Staffordshire and indeed across regions including Cheshire, Yorkshire, Merseyside and Lancashire who will be wondering whether there will indeed be enough money to fund treatment when new budgets are revealed for 2013/14.
Of course there’s also the fact that the funding of IVF on the NHS will officially become the responsibility of local clinical commissioning groups from April instead of the current Primary Care Trust system. It should mean that these groups respond to local need and demand for infertility treatment, but many are concerned that IVF will once again be low on the priority list.
Many PCTs including Stoke and North Staffordshire, and Warrington in Cheshire, currently only offer one cycle of funded IVF, and even then only if you meet very strict criteria.
But what happens if you can get funding, but you don’t think your local NHS IVF clinic is the best place for you to have your treatment? The good news is that you can request your IVF funding to be redirected to a clinic of your choice – even private clinics – if you think it would give you the best chance of success.
At Manchester Fertility we welcome a lot of patients who have successfully transferred their NHS IVF funding to us, with many travelling a considerable distance to us for treatment from areas such as Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire – and indeed even from more local areas like Liverpool and Stockport - to undergo treatment with our expert team of consultants and fertility specialists.
If you want treatment with us and are eligible for NHS treatment, find out how you can request a funding transfer here.
Infertility Network UK also has a wealth of information about local funding for IVF.
And don’t forget that if you’re not eligible for NHS funding but need infertility treatment, if you are 35 or under and are prepared to become an egg donor, you could receive a heavily-subsidised cycle of IVF with us in return for donating some of your eggs to help other women. Click here for more details about our successful egg-sharing scheme which has helped us achieve nowaiting lists for our patients who need treatment with a donor egg.