The NHS in Richmond has launched a public consultation on proposed changes to In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
Richmond CCG is required to make the best use of an annual budget to keep people living in the borough of Richmond well. Savings of at least £13m must be made in the next financial year which is a significant financial challenge for an organisation with an annual budget of £261m. We have to consider where we can reduce NHS spending with the least impact possible for local people.
Approximately, 100 couples registered with Richmond GPs are given NHS funding for IVF and ICSI, costing around £400,000. In light of the financial pressures the local NHS is facing we would like to hear from local people on the following proposed options:
- Option 1 – no further change to the existing service. This option would mean that women aged 39 years or younger, who meet the clinical criteria, will continue to be offered one fresh and one frozen cycle of IVF.
- Option 2 – access to IVF would be limited to patients with exceptional clinical circumstances. These might include infertility following cancer treatment, or prevention of the transmission of chronic viral infections, such as HIV (among others).
As part of the consultation the CCG is asking the Richmond community if there are other exceptional circumstances we should consider. Dr Graham Lewis, local GP and CCG chair, said: “We are facing our toughest financial challenge yet.
“There is not enough money for us to do everything we would like to for people living in the borough of Richmond.
“We have to prioritise and make difficult decisions, including what level of IVF should continue to be funded, to secure the future of local NHS health services for everyone.
“While we know that the number of people affected by a change in policy would be low we are also aware that infertility is an area of significant concern to those who are affected by it.
“We need to make sure that we understand the views and needs of people who use IVF services so if you haven’t already done so, please read our consultation document and fill out our survey.”
If the CCG decides to further limit funding to IVF and ICSI services, this would mean that couples living in the borough of Richmond would be less likely than before to be able to access these services through the NHS.
In exceptional circumstances, an Individual Funding Request could be made from a GP or consultant who thinks a patient would benefit from treatment that is not usually funded. Each request would be reviewed by a panel made up of clinicians and commissioners through Richmond CCG who would then decide whether or not to fund the treatment based on the individual clinical circumstances of each couple. This application needs to be made on behalf of the patient by a clinician.
The consultation will run until Tuesday 4 April 2017. A public meeting to discuss these proposals will be held on Monday 27 February, 7.15pm to 9.00pm in York House, Twickenham, TW1 3AA. Please register for the event by emailing email@example.com.
Click here to read the IVF and ICSI consultation document and fill out our short survey.
Amy Burns, Communication Officer at Richmond CCG, on 020 8734 3016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org