Fertility expert Robert Winston has described the provision of fertility treatment on the UK's health service as a 'shambles'. Speaking on BBC Radio 4 last week, Lord Winston said that more IVF was done under in the NHS under the last government than under this one. 'That's surprising and disappointing' he added.
The problem of 'postcode prescribing' for fertility treatment in the UK was highlighted at the recent European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting. Tim Hedgeley, head of the infertility charity Issue, said last week: 'There are some pockets in the UK which provide a very good service, and there are some areas which provide a dreadful service'.
A government report out this week describes the provision of IVF services as 'patchy' across England and Wales. Professor Alan Templeton, who chaired a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists working party on IVF, said that the government should follow Scotland in establishing a national service framework for IVF care. He also suggested an upper age limit of 40 for fertility treatment on the National Health Service, as the effectiveness of IVF dropped dramatically in women over that age.