Medway Clinical Commissioning Group wants your views on the future of NHS-funded In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment. In line with other CCGs in Kent, the NHS in Medway is considering reducing the current levels of funding for IVF.

 

Please complete our online survey to tell us what you think.

Medway residents are invited to a public meeting on Wednesday 13th June where you can hear about the proposals in more detail and discuss the issues with local clinical and NHS staff.

The meeting will take place on 13th June 18:30 – 20:30 at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham. Please register for a place at the meeting here.

What is IVF?
While most women who are trying to fall pregnant do so within two years, around 10 per cent of couples are unsuccessful. There are many clinical conditions that can contribute to infertility but for about a quarter of couples the reasons are not known. There are three main types of treatment, one of which is assisted conception including in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

What are we proposing?

In England, specialist fertility treatments are paid for by local CCGs, which decide how much treatment to offer their residents, based on careful evaluation of factors such as health risks, overall outcomes, population need and costs. There is national guidance but it is not binding.

 For those people who meet the criteria for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with or without intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) on the NHS, we currently offer a maximum of four embryo transfers including no more than two transfers from fresh cycles.  We are proposing reducing this to a maximum of two embryo transfers; one using a fresh embryo and one using a frozen embryo collected as part of the same cycle

What is a cycle of IVF?

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence defines a full cycle of IVF  as one in which one or two embryos produced from eggs collected after ovarian stimulation are replaced into the womb as fresh embryos (where possible), with any remaining good‑quality embryos frozen for use. When these frozen embryos are used later, this is still considered to be part of the same cycle.  See https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg156/ifp/chapter/in-vitro-fertilisation for further details.

 

Why are we considering a reduction in provision?

There is a growing gap in Kent and Medway between the money available to pay for NHS care and the costs the NHS faces. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), the NHS organisations which plan and pay for most of your healthcare, have to balance the need for different types of treatment against the benefits they give, which can require some difficult decisions.

In Medway we have already looked at several ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency but we need to do more, to free up enough money for essentials such as urgent and emergency care, and cancer treatment. So we are now considering changes to spending on fertility treatment.

How much does IVF cost the NHS in Medway?


Last year NHS Medway CCG spent approximately £226,000 on in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).  This funding provided about 60 eligible couples with treatment.  Each cycle costs approximately £3,750.  £171,000 of the total expenditure is on the first cycle of treatment, and £55,000 funds second cycles of treatment.

How you can give us your views

We want to hear from local residents, people with experience of fertility services, clinical staff and those working within the NHS. Please complete this survey to tell us what you think.

The survey closes on 22nd June 2018.

Please contact us if you have any questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01634 335 111