A couple from Witham have been left devastated by the prospect of receiving only one attempt at IVF treatment.
Euan and Erin Green, who have been trying to have a baby for four years, are half-way through what could be their ‘only shot’ at IVF following an announcement by the Mid-Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) last week stating that they will now only fund IVF for couples in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
These exceptional circumstances could include patients with HIV or those undergoing treatment which is likely to affect their fertility, but cases will be reviewed individually. Families in neighbouring areas are still entitled to up to three attempts.
“You live in hope that if the first try doesn’t work you’ve got the second or maybe third attempt, to pin your hopes on,” said Erin. “That’s a lot of couples with dreams that, in my eyes, have just been shattered – and that’s not fair.”
Mid-Essex is one of just two of 211 Clinical Commissioning Groups to approve this stance on IVF funding.
Dr Caroline Dollery, chairman of Mid Essex CCG, said: “It has been an incredibly tough decision for the CCG Board to make as we are aware it will be a huge disappointment for people affected by fertility issues in mid Essex.
“But at this moment in time the CCG needs to make £8 million in savings and further savings next year. We have to consider the complete picture for the local NHS – demands for services are costing more than the money that we have available.
Many charities and campaign groups have condemned the move.
Sarah Norcross, co-chairman of Fertility Fairness, said: “The cost of fertility treatment is a tiny fraction of this CCG’s total annual budget but it is viewed as a line in the budget that is easy to cut as people with fertility problems don’t like to complain publicly because of the very personal nature of the problem. We urge the CCG to reinstate services at the first opportunity.”
What do you think of Mid-Essex CCGs decision? Should access to fertility treatment be equal across the UK? Or do you think that couples should foot the bill for IVF? Share your views by commenting in the box below.
For full Essex Chronicle article by Megan Tatum visit: http://www.essexchronicle.co.uk/Mid-Essex-IVF-funding-changes-shatter-dreams/story-23026545-detail/story.html