Access Criteria to NHS Fertility Treatment


Fertility problems affect one in seven couples in the UK. NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (known previously as Primary Care Trusts) decide who is eligible to receive funding for fertility treatment. In South Birmingham, the present CCG guidelines dictate that couples are not eligible for funding for fertility treatment where one partner has a child from a previous relationship.

The Department of Health has commissioned the leading fertility patient support organisation, Infertility Network UK, to produce advice for NHS commissioners in England about standardising eligibility for fertility treatment. The aim is to ensure CCGs provide fertility services which are transparent, fair and consistent across the country. Infertility Network UK have made the following recommendation:

“PCTs should move towards a position where funding is available for those who do not have a living child, including couples where one partner is childless. As investment in fertility services increases, funding may be available for IVF where both partners have a child/children from a previous relationship, but not from the current relationship.”

I welcome this recommendation. For my constituents it’s about having the recognition, support and funding to try and conceive a child that is biologically their own.

I have written to the NHS Birmingham South Central CCG asking whether they will give serious consideration to, and implement, the Infertility Network UK’s recommendations in the “Standardising Access Criteria to NHS Fertility Treatment” report.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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