Seven MPs across three UK political parties have signed a letter calling for the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Clinical Commissioning Group to reinstate fertility services
The letter was created and signed by all seven of the MPs that represent couples in the area that has seen its fertility services halted since 2017.
Those MPs, Paul Bristow, Lucy Fraser, Steven Barclay, Jonathan Djanogly, Anthony Browne, Shailash Vara, and Daniel Zeichner, represent all parts of Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon, and Peterborough, have asked the CCG to reinstate the service for all those couples who are currently being denied treatment on the NHS.
They say in the letter: “Currently, the CCG is only one of three across the UK that fails to offer any fertility support via the NHS. Our constituents are being denied access to fertility services, which we believe to be an unacceptable situation.”
The CCG held a consultation before ending fertility services and despite 80 percent of respondents being opposed to the proposals, it was still put in place
The letter continues: “Through our role as MPs, we have all met loving couples who are desperate to become parents, yet have encountered fertility challenges and are being denied help from the CCG.
“Many couples have described the impact on their mental health and their relationships. Most have attempted to purchase IVF services privately, amounting in some cases to many thousands of pounds and causing financial hardship. This is a real issue for our constituents and we feel compelled to act.”
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence(NICE) guidelines sets out that women under the age of 40 who suffer from infertility should be offered three IVF cycles on the NHS, but despite this many CCGs across the UK decided to end or lessen their fertility provision.
The MPs asked a series of questions for the CCG to respond to, including asking the CCG to commit to reinstating NHS fertility services, to meet with campaigners of the Fight for IVF group, who have begun a petition and campaign to get NHS IVF reinstated across the UK, and that the CCG write to the MPs with any assessment that has been carried out on the impact of mental health from halting NHS IVF.
Amber Izzo, of Peterborough, launched the Fight For IVF campaign earlier this month, during National Fertility Week, to urge CCGs to reinstate IVF in Cambridgeshire and across the UK.
The petition currently has already generated more than 16,400 signatures
The 25-year-old lives in Peterborough, where the local CCG offers no free NHS fertility treatment, as well as with Basildon and Brentwood, Mid-Essex, and Cambridgeshire.
Amber said on her blog, “It is unacceptable that your postcode determines your eligibility, and even more so that three CCGs offer no cycles at all. Couples in those three areas pay their national insurance the same as everybody else in receipt of treatment, and those who receive one or two NHS-funded cycles pay the same as those who receive three.
“The system is broken. It cannot be justified that couples in Basildon, for example, are entitled to no IVF treatment, whilst in County Durham they are entitled to three – as per the NICE guidelines. It is unjust, unfair, and unethical.”
To sign the petition, click here