Fertility: Health Services

Health written question – answered on 8th March 2012.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat, Carshalton and Wallington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure equality of access to fertility treatment in the NHS.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow The Minister of State, Department of Health

Primary care trusts are fully aware of their statutory commissioning responsibilities and the need to base commissioning decisions on clinical evidence and discussions with local general practitioner commissioners, secondary care clinicians and providers. The national health service deputy chief executive, David Flory, wrote to primary care trust commissioners last year to highlight to those involved in commissioning fertility services the importance of having regard to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence fertility guidelines, including the recommendation that up to three cycles of in vitro fertilisation are offered to eligible couples where the woman is aged between 23 and 39.

Additionally, we support Infertility Network UK, a leading patient support organisation, to develop and promote standardised access criteria and to work in partnership with commissioners to encourage good practice in the provision of fertility services.

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