Health chiefs blame £45m shortfall for IVF cuts in Potters Bar and St Albans

PUBLISHED: 14:34 20 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:34 20 October 2017

NHS-funded IVF treatment has been reduced or cut for Welwyn Hatfield, St Albans and Stevenage residents. Picture credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

NHS-funded IVF treatment has been reduced or cut for Welwyn Hatfield, St Albans and Stevenage residents. Picture credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

AndreyPopov

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group has blamed a £45million financial crisis for cutting NHS-funded IVF in Potters Bar and St Albans.

MP Oliver DowdenMP Oliver Dowden

The CCG, which controls health care spending for both areas, outlined its decision after Potters Bar’s MP Oliver Dowden voiced concerns about the impact on struggling families.

Conservative MP for Hertsmere Mr Dowden told this paper he had written to Herts Valleys’ chair Dr Nicholas Small requesting an explanation and details of available alternatives.

•NHS-funded IVF slashed in Potters Bar and St Albans

A CCG spokesman said: “Herts Valleys CCG needs to make savings of £45million in this and future years to return to financial balance. We simply don’t have the money to do everything and continue as we are.

“Given the low success rates and high costs of IVF, as well as the physical and mental toll it can take on patients, we need to balance the funding for this treatment with the other services and treatments we need to provide.”

The spokesman said that patients affected by the decision will be supported in exploring available options in the same way as those who have never qualified for NHS-funded IVF.

“GPs will be able to refer individual cases to a specialist decision-making panel if their patient faces exceptional clinical circumstances,” he added.

The move is set to be reviewed in 12 months time.

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