Plans to reduce the level of IVF treatment available on the NHS in the Lancaster and Morecambe area are being put out to public consultation.
NHS Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it is working in partnership with the other seven CCGs in Lancashire and South Cumbria to review clinical policies across the region.
Under the proposals, Morecambe Bay’s CCG would commission one treatment unit of “assisted conception” for females who are aged between 18 and 42, as well as meeting other certain criteria.
Currently, women aged under 40 are able to have a maximum of two full IVF cycles on the NHS.
Women aged between 40 and 42 are entitled to one.
In 2010 the percentage of IVF treatments that resulted in a live birth was 32.2 per cent for women under 35, and 13.6 per cent for women aged 40 to 42. Treatment at a private clinic may cost up to £5,000 or more.
Younger women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy and IVF isn’t usually recommended for women over 42 as the chances of a successful pregnancy are thought to be too low.
Hilary Fordham, Chief Operating Officer at Morecambe Bay CCG, said: “The CCG is responsible for commissioning a wide range of clinical services, including secondary (hospital), community and mental health services 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 role for the CCG is to develop clinical policies that help us make decisions about the use of those limited resources. I would encourage any resident with an interest in these policies to visit the CCG website and have their say. I also encourage residents to attend the open forum events when they are finalised.”
Anyone interested in having their say is invited to read the proposed draft policy on assisted conception services (including IVF).
The proposed policy has an impact on patients and couples considering assisted conception, including IVF, in order to start a family.
Residents are being consulted over a 12 week period and open forum events are being planned for each CCG area. Residents can provide their feedback and comments now and throughout the 12 weeks by completing the relevant survey. This can all be accessed by visiting Morecambe Bay CCG’s website https://www.morecambebayccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/clinical-policy-engagement.