What are your views on IVF and cosmetic procedures?

IVF/sperm donation.
IVF/sperm donation.
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Views are being sought across Lancashire about the Clinical Commissioning Groups’ assisted conception services (including IVF) and cosmetic procedures.

NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working in partnership with the other seven CCGs in Lancashire to review clinical policies across the region.

The eight CCGs across Lancashire: Lancashire North; East Lancashire; Blackburn with Darwen; West Lancashire; Blackpool; Fylde and Wyre; Chorley and South Ribble; and Greater Preston, agreed on the need to review and harmonise a number of their clinical policies.

These clinical policies, inherited from Primary Care Trusts, although broadly similar, have offered different approaches and rules. The CCGs recognise that this can lead to confusion and potentially unintended differences in services across the area.

In order to ensure that the polices are consistent and offer a fair approach across the county, a working group consisting of representatives from each of the CCGs, along with Public Health Consultants and other health representatives, have agreed to review and wherever possible develop joint polices across Lancashire. Public forums to discuss the set of principles that underpin the current policies were held some months ago. Now the CCGs across Lancashire are holding a series of focus groups to discuss two of the clinical policies up for review.

These are assisted conception services (including IVF) and cosmetic procedures.

Hilary Fordham Chief Commissioning Officer from NHS Lancashire North CCG, said: “CCGs are stewards of the local NHS and as such we are responsible for commissioning a wide range of clinical services, including secondary (hospital), community and mental health services for your area and for paying for those services, for and on behalf of, the local population. In some areas this also includes commissioning GP services.

“We need to ensure this is done in an open, fair and transparent manner but in so doing we must take into account the limited resources we have.

“A key part of our stewardship role is to develop clinical policies that help us make decisions about the use of those limited resources, identifying the treatments and procedures that have low or limited value and which may reduce our ability to provide lifesaving and health preserving services. These clinical policies guide decisions on when these more limited treatments and procedures will be made available on the NHS.”

Assisted conception services and cosmetic procedures are two of the broader clinical policies up for review and, should the draft policies be implemented, there may be a change in the service or treatments currently provided.

Members of the public are invited to attend focus group sessions to learn more about the revised clinical policies and give their views on them. Comments will be fed back to the CCG and the working group as part of the development process. Booking a place on the focus group is advised as space may be limited.

Further opportunities will be made available for public involvement and feedback on other individual clinical policies (such as varicose vein and carpel tunnel) as and when they are developed and available for discussion.

More information about this work and dates for our upcoming focus groups can be found on our website http://www.lancashirenorthccg.nhs.uk/