Health lobbying group calling on NHS provider to reinstate funding for IVF treatment.
PUBLISHED: 07:56 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:53 25 January 2019
A health lobbying group is calling on an NHS funding provider to reverse its 2017 decision to suspend IVF treatment in Cambridgeshire, due to the impact on patients.
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire has said the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) took the decision despite a public outcry and knowing the cuts went against national guidance.
The CCG conducted a 20-week consultation over the summer of 2017 in which more than 1,300 people responded, and voted to end the funding.
“People were overwhelmingly in favour of keeping access to IVF on the NHS,” said a spokesman for Healthwatch.
The spokesman added: “In fact, 82 per cent of people rejected the proposals to suspend the service and the CCG also received a petition with 2,278 signatures.”
Healthwatch has asked the CCG to consider reversing the decision and has agreed to provide them with information to assess the impact of the decision, which was implemented to save a planned £700,000 per annum from the NHS budget.
“Fertility Network UK, a charity that supports anyone affected by fertility issues, told us [Healthwatch] that in a 2018 survey, 90 per cent of people told them that infertility feels like a trauma,” added the spokesman.
“They said that 94 per cent said they didn’t think their friends, family or colleagues really understood what they are going through in their journey to have a baby.”
They also found that more than a third of the people who responded had put themselves in financial difficulty in order to have a baby.
Healthwatch is asking anyone who has been affected by issues around infertility, including mental health and financial problems, to contact them so they can build up a case for the CCG which will make a decision in April on whether to reinstate the money in its budget.
INFO: Call Healthwatch on 0330 355 1285 or text: 0752 0635 176.