Is fertility funding set to get even more confusing?

Whether or not you might qualify for NHS funding for fertility treatment is one of the most confusing aspects of the entire process for many people.  I’m forever seeing posts on fertility forums asking whether people might be eligible for NHS treatment in certain circumstances – if their partner already has a child, if they need ICSI, if they are overweight, if they are 39…  There is no one answer to these questions, as it depends entirely on where you live – and that situation could be about to get far more complicated.

Until now, decisions about funding for fertility treatment were made by primary care trusts – so although the situation might not be the same throughout the country, at least people living in fairly wide areas would find that their options were the same.  Now, under the government’s changes to the NHS, funding decisions about fertility treatment are being made at a more local level, by clinical commissioning groups.  This means that there is room for far more divergence in what is offered within regions and across the country as a whole.

The NICE guideline makes it very clear what ought to be offered, but we have yet to see what the consequences of these changes to the NHS structure will mean for fertility patients – at the moment, it certainly doesn’t look as if things are likely to get easier…


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