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New blow to IVF couples in North Yorkshire
COUPLES struggling to start a family were dealt a fresh blow this week after the region’s NHS chiefs decided to maintain its policy of restricting IVF treatment.
NHS North Yorkshire and York has admitted the issue is “highly emotive” but said the decision was one of a series of measures which had to be put in place to address the “serious financial pressure facing the health community”.
Would-be parents hoping to receive routine IVF will now have to meet two exceptions criteria before they are considered for treatment.
These include being “different to the general population of patients who would normally be refused the healthcare intervention, and good grounds to believe that the patient is likely to gain significantly more benefit from the intervention than might be expected for the average patient with that particular condition”.
Factors such as gender, ethnicity, age, lifestyle or other social factors such as employment or parenthood will not be considered.
Dr David Geddes, medical director of NHS North Yorkshire of York, said: “We fully appreciate that infertility is a highly emotive issue.
“Following discussions at the clinically led Integrated Commissioning Executive Committee (NICE), NHS North Yorkshire and York has taken the difficult decision to not routinely commission assisted conception services for the 2011/12 financial year.
“This decision affects IVF and other assisted conception procedures, however it does not affect couples experiencing fertility problems having access to non-surgical treatments, such as drug treatments, that may result in successful conception.”
Dr Geddes said the trust had to consider the need to remain financially solvent and that such difficult decisions were the inevitable consequence of the serious position faced by our health community.
“We have a duty to protect NHS services for the majority,” he said.