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Couples may get one go at free IVF
2:30pm Friday 21st September 2012 in News
HEALTH bosses have said they can no longer justify cutting free fertility treatment in the town after Warrington became one of three authorities in the country refusing to pay for in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Infertility charities said they were ‘angry and upset’ over the decision in 2010, which was extended for a further 12 months last year barring ‘exceptional cases’.
But during a Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group meeting last week accountable officer Sarah Baker said the ‘context nationally’ for the procedure, where egg cells are fertilised outside the womb, is changing.
She added: “We’re now one of just three organisations that don’t fund IVF so we’re making the recommendation to change the PCT’s previous recommendation.
“We would have to be in a much more serious position to say it is a reasonable thing to do (cutting funding).”
It is thought changes could be brought in by April 2013 to allow newly-referred patients access to one cycle but the decision depends on yet to be released national guidance and responsibility for fertility services remaining with the CCG next year.
CCG member Pat Taylor added: “It’s about fairness and women in the town should have the same opportunities as most of the country.”
Susan Seenan, deputy chief executive of Infertility Network UK, said: “All the statistics we have show that offering three cycles more than doubles the chance of a live birth which is why NICE recommends three full cycles.
“We are pleased that Warrington has decided to allow some patients limited access to IVF, but is about time all PCTs fulfilled their obligations and followed the NICE recommendations.”