Are you a victim of the IVF postcode lottery?

The_Houses_of_Parliament,_London_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1412018If you are affected by the postcode lottery for NHS-funded fertility services in England, then contacting your MP is one of the most important ways that you can help to lobby to save NHS-funded IVF.

The charity Infertility Network UK is launching a campaign to encourage fertility patients to write to their MPs to tell them how they are affected by the postcode lottery and what the rationing of fertility treatment means to them. The charity have prepared a draft letter or email which you can amend to include details of the impact your fertility problems have on your life. You can find the template for the letter or email at the bottom of this webpage and details of how to contact your MP here – you can just put in your postcode to find out who your MP is if you aren’t sure. You can also send a copy of your correspondence to Jane Ellison, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health at the Department of Health, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS.

Infertility Network UK and Fertility Fairness believe it is unacceptable that 83 per cent of England’s clinical commissioning groups ignore public health guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and do not provide three full cycles of NHS fertility treatment and hope to change that with your help.

First ever national sperm bank for the UK

images-2Fabulous news from the National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) that they have been awarded funding from the Department of Health to set up the UK’s first ever National Sperm Bank in partnership with Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

The National Sperm Bank, to be based at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, with spokes across England, will be offering an NHS based service. There is currently a national shortage of sperm donors in the UK, especially in NHS clinics. Patient numbers continue to rise and treating those who need donor sperm is a major problem. At present, some patients needing donor sperm are faced with few options and find themselves on waiting lists, having to use unregulated providers or having to stop treatment altogether.

It is hoped that the introduction of the National Sperm Bank will provide safe, equitable and increased access for all. It is also anticipated that it will reduce the number of patients putting themselves at risk by using unregulated sperm donation services. Additionally, it is hoped that for the first time, those from ethnic minority backgrounds will be able to choose from a range of donors. The National Sperm Bank will launch in October 2014.