IVF services under threat in Uttlesford after clinical commissioning group announces savings plan

PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:09 17 July 2017

NHS-funded in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and specialist fertility services could be reduced or stopped completely in Uttlesford.

The news comes following proposals put forward by the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG), which admits it has been facing ‘a number of challenges’ recently.

This is because, it says, the number of people who need healthcare is increasing, with many living longer and often with complex conditions.

As a result, savings are being made throughout West Essex, including to IVF services.

Dr Christine Moss, clinical director of WECCG, said: “We are not acting in isolation; the proposals we are seeking views on are also being put forward in Hertfordshire.

“While we accept our proposals around changes to IVF and specialist fertility treatments have the potential to make a significant difference to some patients’ lives, we have to be realistic about what we can afford.

“In view of this, we will aim to get as wide a range of views. We will be holding public events; speaking to people across West Essex; attending community and local health and social care meetings; taking opinion online and communicating with people via social media.”

The proposals are also considering limiting the routine prescription of medicines and products that can be bought without prescription for short-term conditions and minor ailments.

Dr Rob Gerlis, chair of WECCG, added: “Wherever possible we are looking to make savings that won’t affect the quality of patient care.

“We are working more closely with our partners in the local health and social care system to avoid duplication and reduce administration costs; laying plans to make more efficient use of technology and buildings and working with those organisations that directly provide services to deliver best value for money.”

Following the announcement, the WECCG will be holding public consultation sessions for people to comment on the proposals.

Details of events can be found at westessexccg.nhs.uk while surveys are also running about the plans.

For the IVF survey, visit healthierfuture.org.uk/ivf and for the prescription survey, visit surveys.essexinsight.org.uk/Overthecounter

What do you think? Have you had IVF treatment in West Essex, or currently receiving it?

Get in touch by emailing abigail.weaving@archant.co.uk

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