MPs condemn inconsistency in IVF treatment

7th June 2011

MPs have condemned the inconsistency of IVF treatment across the UK, which has seen local NHS trusts flouting guidelines and reducing the number of treatments available to infertile couples.

In various parts of the country, women have been refused the standard three rounds of treatment as they are overweight, if they have a child already, or if they are smokers.

A committee of MPs has condemned this inconsistency, which has also seen restrictions placed on age. For example, several trusts will only treat women between the ages of 39 and 40, whereas NHS guidelines state that women ages between 23 and 39 should be considered.

The report by MPs found that around 70 per cent of trusts are not following the guidelines, with some not offering IVF treatment at all.

A spokesman for one of these - NHS West Sussex – said that efficiency measures had forced the loss of treatment, and now the trust had put funding in place for eligible patients.

Discussions about the postcode lottery surrounding IVF have been around for some time, and many couples feared the problem would be exacerbated when NHS cuts started to bite.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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