Fertility campaigners are celebrating a small success after Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG agreed to reinstate NHS-funded IVF
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG committee met to discuss the outcome of the review it had been holding with members agreeing to reinstate the service.
Jan Thomas, the accountable officer of the CCG, said the committee was pleased to have taken the decision.
She said: “We are pleased to have taken the decision to reinstate NHS-funded IVF in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough today.
“We hope that this decision is welcome news for all of those people who find themselves in need of this service and those who advocated for its reinstatement.”
The CCG’s decision means fertility patients will be able to have one funded cycle of IVF treatment with up to three implantations of embryos, giving them up to three chances of getting pregnant.
Since 2016, Clinical Commissioning Groups(CCGs) across the UK have been reducing what they offer to patients in relation to assisted reproduction, such as IUI and IVF treatment.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG was one of the first to scrap the service to save money citing government funding cuts.
Several CCGs stopped treatment and many others reduced the number of IVF cycles they offered anyone needing help.
This is despite the National Institute for Clinical Excellence(NICE) guidelines that recommend that women under the age of 40, who have been trying for a child for two years should be offered a minimum of three IVF cycles and the World Health Organisation(WHO) categorising infertility as a disease.
Good news for many people who had been denied their right to have a child
The news has been welcomed by fertility campaigner Amber Izzo, who started a petition after finding out she could not receive IVF on the NHS.
She launched a petition in September 2020, which gained more than 34,000 signatures.
At the time, she said: “It is unacceptable that your postcode determines your eligibility, and even more so that three CCGs offer no cycles at all. Couples in those three areas pay their national insurance the same as everybody else in receipt of treatment, and those who receive one or two NHS-funded cycles pay the same as those who receive three.
“The system is broken. It cannot be justified that couples in Basildon, for example, are entitled to no IVF treatment, whilst in County Durham they are entitled to three – as per the NICE guidelines. It is unjust, unfair, and unethical.”
In her latest Instagram post to her 8,875 followers, Amber said she was delighted to have helped to get IVF treatment back in Cambridgeshire.
She said: “I am soberly celebrating the biggest achievement of my life.
“Seen months ago I officially launched the @fightforIVF campaign. Having had no access to NHS funded IVF, knowing that did I live 10 minutes away I would, I knew I couldn’t just sit back. The postcode lottery is horrendous, and living in Cambridgeshire, it made sense I started at home.
“Today, after so much fight, I sat and sobbed as I listened to @nhscambspboro announce that after four years, they are reinstating NHS funded IVF.
“I did it. We did it.
“I could not have done this without your support; without every single signature that has been added to the petition; without every single person who has shared their story with me.
“Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.
I have no more words. Only tears of joy.”
The post received many messages of congratulations and support for her campaign.
Do you live in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG area? Will this mean you will receive one NHS-funded IVF? We’d love to hear if it means good things for you. Get in touch via our social media pages, @IVFbabble on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
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