Draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Remedial) Order

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole 12:00 am, 24th July 2018

What assessment he has made of the extent to which the draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Remedial) Order 2018 meets his Department’s policy objectives on equality.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The revised remedial order laid last week addresses the potential inequalities that were identified by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, but it also goes further, ensuring that a sole applicant biologically related to the child will always be able to apply for a parental order regardless of their relationship status. That is a step forward for equality.

Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole

On behalf of the all-party parliamentary group on surrogacy, I thank the Minister for meeting us recently and for laying the order, which removes an inequality. Surrogacy helps to build families, be they heterosexual, same-sex or individuals, so what more can she do to promote it?

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

My hon. Friend is right. There has been considerable growth in surrogacy arrangements in recent years, but I am unsure whether the law has kept pace with the changing practice. We have been revising the guidance to ensure that everyone can approach the matter with greater certainty but, more specifically, I have commissioned the Law Commission to have a good look at the law in the area so that we can ensure good practice in this country without driving people overseas.

Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Housing)

What action is the Minister taking to ensure that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on equal access to IVF are adhered to, so that people such as my constituent Rebekah Hambling, who sadly lost her IVF baby to group B strep, are not denied further rounds of IVF in North East Lincolnshire because they would still have been eligible in other CCG areas?

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

I agree with the hon. Lady. It is unacceptable that seven CCGs offer no IVF treatment at all, which is establishing a postcode lottery. We keep reminding NHS England and CCGs of the NICE guidelines and we expect them to follow them.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee

I call Bim Afolami. Not here. This is a rum state of affairs. I hope the fellow is all right. He was here earlier, but he has beetled out of the Chamber at a most inopportune moment. Well, there is nothing to be done, and the grouping breaks down, but I hope Bim’s okay. Reports would be welcome.