Suffolk’s clinical commissioning groups reject IVF reduction

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.

Suffolk patients will still be able to get up to two cycles of in-vitro fertilisation after the county’s two clinical commissioning groups decided to accept public views on the issue.

Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group decided yesterday to make no change to its IVF policy and that a service to support marginalised and vulnerable adults (MVA) will be delivered countywide. Its west Suffolk counterpart decided to do the same this morning.

Stowmarket GP and chairman of the  Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Mark Shenton

Stowmarket GP and chairman of the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Mark Shenton

The proposals to reduce IVF to one cycle and limit the MVA to east Suffolk, were put forward by the CCGs last year to address their need to save almost £13 million to balance their books.

Almost 1,400 pieces of feedback were received on the proposals, with 22 events held across the area, with Healthwatch Suffolk.

Dr Christopher Browning, chairman of West Suffolk CCG, said: “Governing body members have examined the feedback and, along with clinical input, have reached agreement on the way forward for IVF and MVA services.

“We could not have reached this stage without the helpful input of local people who spoke passionately about the impact these services have on their lives.”

Dr Mark Shenton, chairman, NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “While there is certainly a long way to go and the financial challenges will continue, the CCG has managed to bring budgets under control, reduce inefficiencies and currently has a steadier financial position.”