It’s fantastic news that in Scotland access to IVF treatment is to be standardised to put an end to the postcode lottery for fertility patients. With new investment, people who need help to conceive across the country will know exactly where they stand and what they can expect to receive. Although for the time being they will only be offered two cycles of treatment rather than the three cycles recommended by the NICE, the initiative also aims to reduce waiting times. Criteria used to assess eligibility will be standardised so the same rules will apply to everyone, no matter where they live.
Of course this move is to be applauded, but it’s high time that the rest of the UK followed suit. In England, there are huge regional variations in NHS-funded treatment which are unfair and quite wrong – in many cases, commissioners have seemed to make up the rules as they go along. It is completely crazy that access for treatment for a medical condition is determined entirely by where you live – and a situation that we can only hope will not be allowed to continue for much longer.