Proposals to reduce access to IVF in Suffolk deferred after consultation

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Governing Body members of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group have today decided to defer the decisions on proposals to reduce access to IVF services and re-focus services delivered to marginalised and vulnerable adults.

Almost 1,400 pieces of feedback were received from the public and this decision to defer will give the members more time to give in depth consideration to the implications of these proposals.

Dr Mark Shenton, chairman, NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This outcome reflects the collective desire of Governing Body members to be thorough in the decision-making process and to find the most appropriate solutions that protect the future viability of core NHS services.”

It is now anticipated that final decisions will be reached in early 2017. Until then IVF and MVA services will continue to operate in the same way as now.

Governing Body members of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group will discuss similar proposals for the west Suffolk area at a meeting in public tomorrow.

What was proposed:

Proposal 1: To reduce access to in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) services, which is the procedure used to assist with the conception of a child. The CCGs currently fund two cycles of IVF treatment for women aged up to 40, and one cycle of treatment for women aged 40 – 42. The CCGs proposed reducing IVF treatment to one cycle only for eligible patients or reducing IVF treatment to 0 cycles (but still enabling people to apply for individual funding for IVF in certain circumstances).

Proposal 2: To focus the Marginalised and Vulnerable Adults (MVA) service in the Ipswich area, where most of those who use the service are located. The service currently operates across east and west Suffolk and it supports homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers, Gypsies, Travellers and Roma people and ex-offenders. MVA is largely delivered through drop-in clinics and helps those people access the right healthcare service for their needs. The main aims of the service are to improve access to GP services and ensure the most appropriate use of NHS services.