Couples struggling to conceive face more disappointment as NHS North
Yorkshire and York joins a growing number of trusts restricting access to IVF after it decided to suspend funding for assisted conception services, save for
those who demonstrate a 'clinical exception'.
NHS managers admitted the
issue was 'highly emotive' but that difficult decisions had to be made for the
trust to remain financially solvent.
Those hoping to receive IVF will now have to meet two criteria in order to
be considered for treatment. They must be 'different to the general
population of patients who would normally be refused the healthcare
intervention', and there must be good grounds to believe that they are
'likely to gain significantly more benefit from the intervention than might be
expected for the average patient with that particular condition'. Gender,
ethnicity, age, lifestyle and other social factors such as employment or
parenthood will not be considered.
Dr David Geddes, medical director of NHS North Yorkshire and York, said:
'Following discussions at the clinically led Integrated Commissioning Executive
Committee, NHS North Yorkshire and York has taken the difficult decision
to not routinely commission assisted conception services for the 2011/12
financial year'. The decision covers IVF and other assisted conception
procedures, but access to non-surgical fertility treatments, such as drug treatments,
will not be affected.
Dr Geddes said such difficult decisions were the inevitable consequence of
the serious position faced by our health community and that they 'have a duty
to protect NHS services for the majority'.