Fertility Network UK

Could the NHS Postcode Lottery Get Any Worse?

Actually yes it could - at the moment decisions are made by the PCTs who are free to decide on their own local priorities. Currently there are around 140 PCTs with varying views on whether fertility treatment should or shouldn't be funded and if they do decide to fund, they then apply their own 'social' criteria. This means that if you live in Warrington, Staffordshire or North Yorkshire you get no funding at all for IVF treatment, but if you live just a few miles across the border from North Yorkshire in Redcar you get funded for three cycles. Stockport currently offer one cycle but in Dorset you have to be aged 30-35 - so a huge variation in access criteria applied by the PCTs.

Infertility Network UK leads the National Infertility Awareness Campaign which has for many years fought for fair funding on behalf of patients and both I N UK and NIAC have made huge progress in addressing the variations faced by patients and improving access to treatment. Many PCTs which today do fund IVF do so because of the work we have done. However, we are very concerned that if commissioning for fertility treatment goes to GPs under the new NHS structure, the postcode lottery will be even more widespread and are asking all of you (not just those are can’t access funding) to write to your MP and lobby for fertility treatment to come under specialist commissioning. Please take a few minutes to download the template letter at


and send to your MP. Our aim is for everyone who is eligible to be able to access treatment no matter where in the country you live. We can't fight this on our own - we need as many patients, friends and family as possible behind this campaign so please do pass this link on. It's on our Facebook page and our blog and the more letters which are written to MPs and to the Health Secretary, the more likely we are to success in having fertility treatment come under specialist commissioning and ensure that anyone trying to conceive gets the treatment they deserve.

1 Reply

Me and My Husband are considering IVF but we live in the Warrington area and they do not fund IVF on the NHS.

If Infertility issues were regarded as a medical illness then the Warrington PCT wouldnt have withdrawn the IVF Funding.

This is such a distressing time when everyone around you has children, the PCTS should consider the emotional consequences of cutting funding of IVF to people who have the desire to become parents but have conditions that make it harder to have children.

I have PCOS and my Husband has issues of which have yet to be found out.

I am 30 years old and feel that time is against me becoming a mum. I am also really frustrated that I have to get my bmi down to 30 at the highest to be even considered for IVF I have gone down from a size 20 to a 16, since being diagnosed with PCOS in November of 2009.


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