Q: I have already secured funding for IVF services from NHS Bury CCG, will I lose this?

A: No. For any patient that has already had funding agreed for IVF services from NHS Bury CCG, this will be honoured.

Q: If the decision is to move to providing 1 cycle of IVF, would the CCG consider changing the eligibility criteria so that people who already have children can be considered?

A: The CCG is consulting on the number of funded cycles of IVF and does not intend to change the eligibility criteria, which is in line with NICE guidance.

Q: If the number of funded cycles is reduced to say 1 cycle, could lower cost self-funded cycles be explored?

A: Patients are able to choose to self-fund any number of IVF cycles. In line with eligibility criteria, all cycles whether NHS funded or self-funded, do count and will continue to count when considering whether a patient is eligible for NHS funded IVF.

Q: How many live births were there from the total number of cycles funded by the CGG (as referenced in the consultation document) and what was the proportion of live births by cycle number?

A: The CCG does not hold this level of information.

Q: Has the CCG considered the potential impact on mental health of not offering IVF?

A: The CCG understands that infertility is a very difficult issue for those affected by it and the CCG recognises that any reduction in the number of funded cycles of IVF may have an emotional impact on some individuals.  Should individuals require emotional support services are in place to meet this need.

Q: What other areas is the CCG reviewing, is IVF the easy option?

A: As a responsible commissioner, the CCG has explored and will continue to explore all areas of spend in relation to cost effectiveness, clinical outcomes and essential services.  Recommendations were made to the Governing Body where it was felt that savings could be achieved whilst minimising the potential overall impact of any changes.  In order to achieve savings to the scale that is required, the CCG has had to look much harder than in previous years and make some decisions which, whilst they may feel uncomfortable, are appropriate in this challenging financial situation.

The final decision about who can have NHS funded IVF in England is made by local CCGs and criteria may be stricter than those recommended by NICE. In assessing the clinical and cost effectiveness of IVF, evidence shows that this falls as age increases, and falls with each unsuccessful cycle.  The CCG’s Clinical Cabinet and Governing Body consider that other types of healthcare should take priority over the current level of funding for IVF services.

Q: If the number of funded cycles are reduced, where will this money be allocated instead?

A: Any identified savings would be used to close the financial gap that is expected during 2018/19.