Plans to axe free IVF treatment in Trafford scrapped

Illustration of a in-vitro fertilization of an egg cell Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group dismissed the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday

A plan to end free IVF treatment in parts of Greater Manchester to make savings has been scrapped by NHS bosses.

NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was considering ending free fertility treatment in a bid to cut £20m from its £345m budget by 2019.

The CCG dismissed the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday.

Trafford would have been the first borough in Greater Manchester to axe free IVF treatment had it been passed.

Medical officer Dr Mark Jarvis said CCG chiefs said the regional postcode lottery was unfair.

"We felt it was a political decision, rather than a clinical one," he told the meeting.

'Totally against'

Women can get one cycle of treatment on the NHS in Trafford, Bolton and Manchester.

Salford, Stockport and Wigan fund two cycles of IVF; while Bury, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, Oldham and Tameside CCGs fund three cycles.

Heather Fairfield, who represents Health Watch on the CCG board, said it was "totally against" the proposal "particularly when you look at the potential of babies being born compared to the relatively low saving of £424,000".

The CCG agreed to negotiate the cost of cycles as it is paying "considerably more" than other Greater Manchester CCGs.

Other areas that have already stopped IVF funding altogether include Mid and North East Essex, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and South Norfolk.

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