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Home Industry News Government announces plans to boost IVF access

Government announces plans to boost IVF access

26th July 2007

Following the guidelines on fertility by the National Institute of Clinical Health and Excellence (NICE) published in 2004, the government has announced new proposals aiming to increase access to IVF treatment for childless couples on the NHS.

The Department of Health is collaborating with Infertility Network UK to help primary care trusts broaden access to IVF treatment.

Included in in these plans are the development of a social access criteria to guarantee a standardised approach to eligibility and access across the country and the formulation of best practice guidance for primary care trusts to aid implementation of the NICE recommendations.

Additionally, the government will monitor the provision of IVF on the NHS to identify where further attention is needed to increase access in different parts of the country.

Dawn Primarolo, public health minister, said: “We recognise that there are local variations in the provision of IVF and that this does cause distress to many childless couples who feel that they are not getting the treatment they need.”

She added that while the local level of the NHS is responsible for the implementation of NICE guidelines, it is vital that primary care trusts are aware of patient needs when formulating policy.

In August 2006, IVF treatment on the NHS was described as a postcode lottery by fertility expert Dr Paul Serhal from University College London, with a “wide disparity” of services across the country.

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