Just last month, Vale of York CCG was being widely praised for finally agreeing to fund a limited amount of fertility treatment for the first time, so it was a huge shock when it suddenly announced yesterday that it wasn’t going to be able to do it after all. What was perhaps even more of a shock was the financial justification for this – that funding one IVF cycle for 110 people was apparently going to cost them £2 million.
It does raise serious questions about financial planning when a CCG changes tack like this in such a short space of time – and there’s also the matter of how one cycle of IVF for 110 people ends up costing £2 million – that’s more than four times what it would be at most fertility clinics,
Infertility Network UK and the National Infertility Awareness Campaign have condemned the proposal – Susan Seenan, Chief Executive of Infertility Network UK and Co-chair of the National Infertility Awareness Campaign (NIAC) said: “The announcement by Vale of York CCG today to go back on their commitment to reinstate funding for fertility treatment is quite simply appalling. To raise the expectations of those patients in the area who need fertility treatment and then within one month smash their hopes is completely irresponsible.
We would like to see the figures they have used to justify their decision – suggesting that offering one cycle to patients would cost as much as £2million per year simply doesn’t add up if they are talking about treating 110 patients. Deferring the reinstatement of funding for another year will simply add to their cost pressures as they try to deal with the backlog. National guidance set by NICE recommends offering up to three cycles for those eligible, based on both cost as well as clinical effectiveness, and there is no reason for patients who have a clinical need for a treatment recommended by NICE to be targeted yet again by a CCG which has for many years consistently failed them.”