Study finds GPs unsympathetic to infertile couples:
Third of women with right to IVF are rejected by GPs who don't know enough about fertility treatment
Results of the largest ever patient survey by the National Infertility Awareness Campaign (NIAC) show that GPs need to be better informed about infertility treatment, including IVF, and the options available when the commissioning of IVF switches to local commissioning groups next year.
The NIAC survey found that nearly 50% of GPs lacked the necessary knowledge of infertility and the treatment options available to provide an effective service. This could explain why some patients with fertility issues perceived their GPs as unsympathetic.
Clare Lewis-Jones, Chair of NIAC and Chief Executive of patient charity Infertility Network UK said: “Infertility treatment has for too long been seen as a low priority, failing the one in six couples who live with the devastating impact this illness has on their lives. NIAC will continue to campaign for fair and equitable access to IVF and ICSI on the NHS, because those suffering from the disease of infertility have the right to expect the chance to try to have a healthy baby of their own.
“The stress of IVF is unavoidable. What is avoidable, however, is the exacerbation of these effects through reductions to services and long waiting times. The psychological effects of infertility can be extremely damaging to couples’ general welfare. They often seek other NHS services in the process such as counselling services or treatment for depression so it is in the best interests of the patients and commissioners to reduce the demand for other NHS services, thereby saving the health service a considerable sum of money.”