18 May 2018

Medway residents are being asked to share their views regarding the future of assisted reproductive technology.

Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation responsible for planning and buying local NHS services, is considering reducing the number of treatment cycles of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) available to eligible couples.

 

Dr Satvinder Lall, Elected Member Governing Body, Medway CCG, said: “There is a growing gap in Kent and Medway between the money available to pay for NHS care and the costs the NHS faces. At Medway CCG we have to balance the need for different types of treatment against the benefits they give, which can require some difficult decisions.

“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 emergency care and cancer treatment. This is why we are now considering changes to spending on fertility treatment.”

For those people who meet the criteria for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with or without intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) on the NHS, Medway CCG currently offers a maximum of four embryo transfers including no more than two transfers from fresh cycles. The proposal is to reduce 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.

Last year, Medway CCG spent approximately £226,000 on IVF and ICSI. This provided about 60 eligible couples with treatment. Each cycle costs approximately £3,750. Of the total expenditure, £171,000 is on the first cycle of treatment, £55,000 funds the second cycle.

In order to be eligible for NHS-funded fertility treatment, Medway patients must fulfil a number of criteria, including but not limited to, duration of subfertility; the woman’s age; previous cycles undertaken; and any children.

Medway residents are asked to share their views in an online survey, which will run until 22 June 2018: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/MedwayFertility2018/.

There is also an opportunity to hear about the proposals in more details and discuss the issues with local clinical and NHS staff during a public meeting. This will take place on Wednesday, 13 June, from 6.30-8.30pm, at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham. Please register for a place at https://medway-fertility-services.eventbrite.co.uk.

See www.medwayccg.nhs.uk/getting-involved/involvement-projects/ivf-engagement for more information.

ENDS

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Notes to Editors

  • Medway CCG is responsible for planning and buying local NHS services, for the patient population of 295,223 across Medway.
  • Medway CCG’s main role is to plan and buy health services across the Medway towns. It works closely with patient groups, local public health, social care and voluntary sector partners to make sure the right services are available at the right time.
  • The CCG is one of 211 in the country, the Medway CCG is made up of GPs, other healthcare professionals and experienced commissioners dedicated to making Medway a healthier place to live.
  • It is committed to developing a strong clinically-led organisation that puts the needs of Medway residents at the heart of its decisions.
  • Medway Clinical Commissioning Group has a governing body made up of local GPs, a registered nurse and several lay members, all working with a network of health professionals across the area.