NHS North Yorkshire and York suspends IVF treatment

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An NHS trust is to suspend IVF procedures as part of cost-cutting measures to help address a projected annual £30m overspend.

NHS North Yorkshire and York said IVF procedures would be halted in the final quarter of this financial year.

The trust will also lose 60 management posts and reduce the amount of money paid to voluntary sector organisations in a bid to make "significant" savings.

An infertility support organisation has described the decision as "appalling".

NHS North Yorkshire and York said it would honour its current IVF waiting list but no new patients would be added.

The trust's current annual overspend is £17.9m.

It said without action to reduce costs, this would rise to an estimated £29.4m for the 2010/11 financial year.

'Unpalatable' decisions

Chief executive Jayne Brown said: "We have a statutory obligation to achieve financial balance and our priority is to achieve significant short-term savings whilst maintaining essential services for patients in North Yorkshire and York.

"We fully appreciate that the decisions we have taken will be unpalatable."

Susan Seenan from the Infertility Network UK organisation told BBC Radio York: "I don't think we can actually express how angry and let down we feel about this decision to suspend funding for IVF treatments."

"On behalf of patients in Yorkshire, it's appalling that the trust has taken this decision."

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