Tell us what you think of proposals to reduce the number of NHS funded IVF cycles available to eligible people from two to one
Your local NHS wants to hear the public’s views on plans to reduce the number of IVF cycles available on the NHS.
Under current criteria, people eligible for the service receive two funded cycles of IVF to help them conceive – this means two attempts using fresh eggs and two using frozen eggs. In line with other areas across Kent and Medway, NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is considering reducing that to one cycle, which would be one attempt using a fresh egg and one using a frozen egg.
Local GP and CCG Deputy Chair Dr Sarah MacDermott said: “This is one of a number of actions we are considering to help ensure we make the best use of the funding we have available, and also bring us in line with other areas across the country. We believe that this is the right step to take, but we want local people to tell us what they think before we make a decision on whether we go out to public consultation.”
More than 60 per cent of CCGs across England already offer just one IVF cycle funded by the NHS.
Last year, the CCG funded two cycles of IVF for nine patients at a cost of £32,442. If the number of cycles was reduced to one, the CCG would have been able to invest around £25,000 in other areas of healthcare locally. As part of the review into IVF provision, the CCG is also looking to make the treatment equally accessible to same sex couples.
Dr MacDermott said: “Although IVF is an emotive subject, we have been considering the additional funding that the NHS across the county would have available for other areas of health care if all CCGs take this action. We also don’t want to create a postcode lottery, where some people can get two cycles, and others in a neighbouring town can only get one. However we want local people to tell us what they think before we take any decisions about holding a public consultation on this. Local people really can influence our decision-making, so I’d urge people to get in touch.”
Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley residents are asked to share their views in an online survey which runs until 15 October 2018. The survey can be found at: https://smartsurvey.co.uk/s/IVFsurvey/
There is also an opportunity to hear about the proposals in more detail and discuss the issues with local clinical and NHS staff during a public meeting. This will be held at Princes Park Stadium, Darenth Road, Dartford DA1 1RT, from 6pm to 8pm on Monday 1 October. To register for your place, please contact the CCG on 03000 424903 or email email@example.com.
If, having listened to people’s views, the CCG decides to take the plans to the next step, a formal public consultation will be held to give people more information about the proposal and give people another chance to have their say.