East of England bolsters IVF provision22nd August 2008
Couples in the East of England are to be offered three cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS.
Primary Care Trusts across the region have announced they are to become one of the first to fully implement guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
The new fertility policy will raise the number of fertility cycles previously offered and standardise them across the region.
The move will come into force next April and benefits couples Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Currently, the 14 PCTs across the region, operating through the East of England Specialised Commissioning Group, offer only one or two cycles of NHS-funded IVF treatment, under policies that vary depending on the local position.
Peter Greenwood, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and Lead Clinician for the Fertility Services Project Steering Group, said: "Around one in seven couples could be affected by infertility.
"The implications can be devastating for some, sometimes with unseen consequences for mental health and wellbeing. We are potentially offering a big improvement in the lives of many couples in the region, where IVF is clinically the right solution and has the potential to succeed."
Clare Brown, Chief Executive of Infertility Network UK, said she had been impressed with the thoroughness of the Specialised Commissioning Group.
She added: "Especially with their understanding of infertility, their recognition that the inequity within the region was unacceptable, their recognition of infertility as something deserving of NHS funding and of their commitment to fully implement the NICE guideline."
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Title: East of England bolsters IVF provision
Author: Claire Tuckey
Article Id: 7951
Date Added: 22nd Aug 2008