Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has decided not to re-instate IVF services on the NHS whilst they are still in debt.
The decision, to cease funding until the CCG’s financial stability returns, falls hardest on those who are affected by infertility.
And impacts people like Sarah who earlier this year told us that infertility is ‘‘… something that you think about every single day. It’s not something that you can get over. It’s not something that you can forget about.’
However, since the original decision to stop IVF was taken in 2017, the local CCG’s financial situation has got worse. And it has had to make hard choices about getting the best value for local people when spending NHS cash.
The latest IVF decision was made at the CCG meeting on 6 August – and is expected to save around £700,000 a year.
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Chair Val Moore attended the meeting and urged the CCG to use NICE guidance to help make the best decisions.
She said that NICE has ‘done the heavy lifting for all people’, in terms of laying down what works and what gives value for money.
She also put on record a concern that future decisions being made about services are not taking enough account of what is laid down in NICE guidance as cost effective care.
Other infertility services still on offer
Afterwards, in an interview with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Val Moore said she was sad that the decision had not been overturned and acknowledged the distress and impact for local people struggling to start a family
However, she stressed that although IVF treatment was no longer funded, other, non-specialist infertility treatments were still available to local people struggling to start a family.
She told radio presenter Ronnie Barbour that anyone worried about infertility should get medical help as soon as they can.
Family doctors can still refer for infertility investigation as well as physical and hormonal therapy and management of ovulation disorders.
Listen to Val Moore’s interview on the Ronnie Barbour show: at about 1hr 09.