We are disappointed to learn that the NHS are proposing to reduce the number of IVF cycles being offered in our region to help plug a budget shortfall.
Currently, would-be parents are offered three cycles of IVF, which is in line with guidelines set out by the best practice body NICE. If the proposals are given the go-ahead, this will be slashed to either two cycles or one cycle for women between the ages of 23 and 39.
The plans could also see the use of donor eggs and sperm banned unless the patient has a genetic condition.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are also considering making couples try for three years before they are entitled to help, one year longer than at present.
RHG clinical director, Luciano Nardo, has voiced his opposition in the media this week, both on Radio Merseyside and in the Chester Chronicle.
You can hear the Radio Merseyside interview on the BBC website via the link below at around 7 minutes 35 seconds.
In the Chester Chronicle, Mr Nardo commented, “One in seven couples will experience difficulty conceiving and embarking on fertility treatment is an important decision which will rarely be taken lightly.
“Couples who face restrictions with regard to what they are entitled to on the NHS face even more stress and uncertainty.
“Guidelines from NICE are clear, and are there for a reason. Ignoring these recommendations is not only short-sighted, but it is devastating for those couples desperate to achieve their dreams of having a child.
“We regularly see couples who have had one failed cycle on the NHS, only to conceive through fertility treatment with us, proving additional cycles are clinically effective.
“Using donor eggs and sperm can also be the only way in which some people can have a baby. Taking this option away on the NHS will be incredibly difficult for many to take.”
You can read the article in full here: http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/nhs-cuts-plan-hit-cheshire-12430578