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IVF Postcode Lottery: Two Thirds Willing To Relocate

More couples are considering moving home for IVF according to a latest survey.

NHS spending cuts by the government have resulted in two thirds of women struggling to conceive a baby and thinking of moving to receive free IVF procedures.

With free treatment hard to find, two in three females would hire a Removals van and move to escape the IVF postcode lottery according to the SHE FAIRtility poll.

SHE Magazine, who conducted the survey, launched a petition to encourage the government to provide fair access to IVF treatment across the country, no matter where they live.

Trusts can offer IVF on the NHS but many have stopped due to the £20 billion government cuts.

The Infertility Network said yesterday: “NHS is simply not an option purely because of their postcode. This is a cruel and ­unjustifiable situation which must end quickly.”

CUTBACKS

Prior to the spending cuts, many NHS Trusts provided free IVF procedures to British couples. However, since the harsh cutbacks NHS Trusts have stopped providing free IVF practises.

The research, which involved 1,000 readers, found that many have suffered fertility problems or know someone who has, while others have experienced depression and financial issues as a result of infertility.

Some 80% knew of at least one couple who had had problems conceiving, while one in four had visited their GP to discuss fertility concerns.

More than one in three people said infertility had caused a strain on their relationship with their partner, or they had witnessed friends experiencing issues while trying to have a baby.

NATIONAL GUIDELINES

In 2004, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) said the NHS should fund three free cycles of IVF for women aged 23 to 39.

However, since then there have been reports of trusts slashing funding for IVF, with more cuts expected in the future.

Clare Lewis-Jones, from the Infertility Network support network, said couples living in England still struggled to access IVF, unlike in Scotland.

MOVING HOME

“Funding for IVF in Scotland is stable and nearly everybody gets three cycles if they need them, and have done for a long time,” she said.

“If people are staying in England, then moving would not guarantee them treatment – they could move and then find out the next day that their PCT has stopped funding IVF.

“Whichever way patients turn, they have no guarantees of even being able to try the treatment that gives them the only chance of having a family.”

Women in some areas are being denied access to the treatment altogether while others are facing new restrictions which appear to flout national guidelines.

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