Fertility: Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase access to fertility services for people regardless of their (a) relationship status and (b) location.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The level of provision of local health services available to patients, including fertility treatment, is a matter for local healthcare commissioners. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have a statutory responsibility to commission healthcare services including fertility services that meet the needs of their whole population. In respect of increasing National Health Service fertility services, the Government has been consistently clear that we expect CCGs to commission fertility services in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines, so that there is equal access across England.

Ministers have written to CCGs about variations in access to fertility services twice in the last 18 months, most recently in December 2019.

Discussions are continuing with NHS England about how access to fertility services can best be addressed.

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