Decision made to reduce IVF provision for patients registered with Oldham GP’s
Following on from the recent public consultation on IVF services in Oldham, NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group is reducing the number of cycles of IVF funded for new patients from 3 to 1 cycles.
A 2017 report showed only 12% of CCG areas in the country offer 3 cycles of IVF, whereas 61% offered 1 cycle.
The CCG’s Governing Body met on Thursday 17 January 2019 to review the outcome of the consultation alongside other evidence, including the need to save money to protect other NHS services.
IVF is one of a number of areas the CCG has explored to help reduce the expected financial gap in local NHS finances. Moving to one funded cycle of IVF will save the CCG an estimated £147,500 every year.
The consultation ran from Friday 12 October to Saturday 8 December 2018 and aimed to capture views and feedback on plans to reduce funding for the provision of IVF services.
The majority of respondents (74.3%) had a preference for the CCG to continue to offer up to three funded cycles of IVF. However, when the Governing Body balanced this against the potential effect on other services (and patients) of making cuts elsewhere, and the risk of attracting patients from other areas to seek funding for second or third cycles, it unanimously agreed to reduce funding to one cycle.
The Governing Body noted that 1 full cycle of IVF can include the transfer of several embryos, maintaining 1 cycle maintains universal offer to all patient, and in exceptional circumstances, patients seeking second or third cycles would remain able to make Individual Funding Requests.
Dr John Patterson, Chief Clinical Officer of NHS Oldham CCG, said: "Infertility is a very difficult and emotive issue for those affected by it, and we have spent a great deal of time considering our position and gathering feedback before making a decision. We’d like to thank every individual and group that responded to our consultation.
He continued, “It became very clear to us that there was no support for removing the service completely. However, by moving to fund 1 cycle, which can still include several attempts at transferring embryos, we can continue to make sure this valuable treatment is available to all Oldham couples who need it while bringing the CCG into line with the majority of other CCGs. This change in provision will not affect couples that have already commenced treatment”.
Date: 18 January 2018