RESIDENTS of Southend-on-Sea are being asked for their views on whether or not the NHS should continue to fund specialist fertility services (IVF) for patients in the borough. A three month consultation is being launched today (26 July 2017) and residents can either complete a survey or attend one of a number of local workshops.
Dr José Garcia Lobera, Chair of NHS Southend CCG, said; “The CCG has difficult decisions to make in order to address the significant financial challenges it is facing. When looking at the prioritisation of local NHS funds, our GPs and clinical leaders came to the difficult conclusion that specialist fertility treatment is an area we should review.
“These are expensive treatments and are often unsuccessful, with success rates between only 2% and 32%. There is a real need to consider the value of funding IVF at the current time compared with all other NHS treatments and services.
“We have already looked at a number of areas including our Service Restriction Policy, orthopaedic services and gluten free food on prescription. We are now looking at other areas and are asking for the views of local people about the funding of IVF.”
IVF became available on the NHS across the UK after 2005 when the Health Secretary at that time, John Reid, said women under 40 would be offered one IVF cycle. More recently, the commissioning of IVF services became the responsibility of Clinical Commissioning Groups. The number of patients using the services described in this consultation varies over time but there is an average of about 50 patients a year, with a cost to the CCG of approximately £200,000 per year.
How can I make sure my views are heard?
Please read the Public Consultation Documenton this page. There is information in the document about the consultation and the different ways you can take part.