So this is a little off topic. But not completely.
I want to talk about the Bedfordshire CGC proposed cuts to fertility services. I first heard about this in a local news article that I have since lost. But it was not u till today that I fully understood what the cuts mean.
Proposed cuts would see NO treatment offered to infertile couples in the county. Nothing…nada…zip…! Let me explain…
So, when NICE recommend in their guidance that three rounds of IVF is both financially and clinically achievable in appropriate patients, Bedfordshire chose to only offer one. However, with their proposed cuts this would be reduced further.
I was reading a blog on the Infertility Network (UK) and this prompted me to email my local MP. I have never done this before. Sure, I have signed online petitions for various things that have caught my attention. I am very verbal on issues I think are right or wrong. But I have never got in touch with my local MP to voice concerns…until today. But this decision really does affect us.
I know we have opted to go for fertility in the private sector but those who have read the blog from the beginning will understanding our reasons for that. We are still raw from losing Shortround and this is not going to go away tomorrow. But that does not stop us planning for our future. We have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves down and are getting on with life.
If these proposed cuts affect you, or someone you love then I beg you to click on the link above to read the blog.Follow the instructions and EMAIL YOUR MP! Tell them your sob story, if it works on X factor then it’s game on right?
I feel so strongly about this that I am sharing what I wrote in an open letter here to our local MP, Nadine Dorries. We are just one couple…this is just one story….there are so many others.
Dear Nadine Dorries
I am Jayne Lewis and I am a victim of the cruel and unethical postcode lottery for NHS fertility services in England.
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system, and is defined as such by the World Health Organisation. The disease of infertility is recognised to result in disability and access to healthcare to treat it is deemed to be a human right. Public health guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends three full cycles of fertility treatment (IVF or ICSI) for eligible couples to be both cost-effective and clinically-effective for the treatment of fertility problems.
I have been diagnosed with the disease of infertility and I am eligible for the recommended treatment for my recognised medical condition but because of where I live in the country, I am denied access to three full cycles of IVF. The Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group which serves my locality is one of those that is choosing to disregard national guidance and patient need and provides only one NHS-funded IVF cycle.
I would like to know why it is acceptable for the vast majority of England’s clinical commissioning groups to disregard national public health guidance; data from campaign group Fertility Fairness shows 83 per cent of clinical commissioning groups ignore NICE guidance and do not provide three full cycles of NHS fertility treatment. What action is being taken to increase compliance with NICE’s national guidance?
My life has been affected by Polycystic Ovarien Disease even since I was 16 years old, I am now 32. The soul destroying moment you have to tell the man you love that you may not be able to fulfil their dream to be a father is not one I would wish on anyone….but it’s one I had to live when I realised my husband was the one back in the days when we first met. Our journey through infertility has been awful to date and to help others I even blog about at https://teapotjayney.wordpress.com/
We are currently dealing with the aftermath of a miscarriage and I am busy trying to loose weight to lower my BMI however we have now opted to go private as we don’t feel we should have to wait until 2018 before we would be eligible to have IVF. Chances are if these proposed cuts go ahead we would not even get this. In a society where women use abortion as birth control or flaunt unwanted children on trashy talk shows for free paternity tests, is it really fair that stable couples willing to go through heartbreaking fertility treatment should not have the opportunity to do so because the CGC want to make proposed cuts to services? Not everyone can afford the luxury of going private and it’s not an option we have chosen lightly.
We just want to be parents to our own child. Mother Nature has made this near impossible, science could make it possibly…the NHS is now making it a costly task and reducing our hard earned savings.
Please raise questions in Parliament about why the accepted medical intervention for the treatment of infertility is routinely rationed in this way. Please bring this issue to the attention of your colleagues and policy makers in the Department of Health.
I hope that you will take the necessary steps to investigate this appalling inequity in healthcare provision and to protect my local fertility services and those across England and the rest of the UK.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my concerns and I look forward to receiving your reply.
Mrs Jayne Lewis