Fertility services could be cut back to basics as part of money saving measures by health bosses
- Credit: Archant
The fertility service could be stripped back to basics as part of cutback reviews across all areas of health care in the region.
A public consultation has been launched by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), inviting local residents to share their views on proposed changes to specialist fertility treatment.
The proposal is to stop routinely commissioning any specialist fertility services other than for two specified exceptions - patients undergoing cancer treatment and men who have a chronic viral infection.
The consultation will run from this week until 5pm on Monday June 12.
Dr Gary Howsam, clinical chair and chief clinical officer, said: “The CCG has to make some very difficult decisions about how to allocate our budget.
“It is a fixed budget yet we have a growing demand for all types of healthcare services, as well as a significant financial deficit to clear.
“We are now in the position that we have to evaluate every service we commission.
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“Specialist fertility services are expensive treatments and last year we spent over £1 million on them.
“The CCG has made the difficult decision that when looking at the prioritisation of funds, specialist fertility treatments is an area that we should review.
“Approximately 200 people accessed IVF services in 2015/16.
“Although this is a relatively small number of patients we do understand that any changes would have a significant impact on those affected by this proposal.
“We’re encouraging members of the public to share their views about the proposal. They can do this by attending one of the public meetings or responding via the consultation document or online survey.
“Once the consultation is complete, the CCG Governing Body will consider the feedback before making a decision.
“Whatever decision is made, this proposal will be reviewed in April 2019.”
The proposal would not affect other fertility services and would still enable patients to be referred from their GP to their local hospital for investigation into their infertility.
There are other investigations and clinical interventions that can improve fertility available to people, before the need to access specialist fertility services, and access to these is not being restricted.
Services provided by the gynaecology clinics in the local hospitals that remain unaffected include:
• Standard investigation of causes of infertility.
• Non-specialist treatments such as physical and hormonal therapy.
• Management of ovulation disorders.
• Management of tubal and uterine abnormalities.
• Medical and surgical management of endometriosis.
• Medical and surgical management of male infertility.
• Management of ejaculatory failure.
Any members of the public with an interest in the proposed changes to specialist fertility services are encouraged to respond to the consultation.
Public meetings are on:
• WISBECH: Thursday May 11 from 6pm to 7pm at The Boat House Business Centre, Harbour Square.
• PETERBOROUGH: Monday May 15 2pm to 3pm and 6pm to 7pm at The Fleet, Fleet Way.
• CAMBRIDGE Monday May 22 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm Central Library, Lion Yard.
• ELY: Thursday May 25 from 6pm to 7pm at The Maltings, Ship Lane.
• CAMBRIDGE: Wednesday June 7 from 6pm to 7pm at The Meadows Community Centre, St Catharine’s Rd.
• HUNTINGDON: Thursday June 8 from 6pm to 7pm at Huntingdon Library, Princes Street.
• Fill in the questionnaire online at www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/consultations/.
• Fill in the questionnaire in the consultation document. Send to Freepost Plus RSCR-GSGK-XSHK, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, Lockton House, Clarendon Road, Cambridge CB2 8FH (you do not need a stamp).
• Contact the CCG Communications and Engagement Team on 01223 725304 or CAPCCG.email@example.com.
• If you belong to a group or organisation invite them to one of your meetings by contacting 01223 725304 or CAPCCG.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whatever the decision, the proposal will be reviewed at the end of April 2019.
• Will you be affected by this proposal? Do you have an IVF success story you would like to share? Contact email@example.com.