To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure that Clinical Commissioning Groups across the country follow the NICE guidance on fertility and the factsheet produced by NHS England, to ensure that adequate and consistent fertility services are provided across the country in each CCG area; and if he will make a statement.
The level of provision of local health services available to patients, including fertility treatment, is, and has been since the 1990s, 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. Ministers currently have no power to direct individual CCGs in relation to their commissioning functions.
In respect of National Health Service fertility services, the Government have been consistently clear that we expect CCGs to commission fertility services in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidelines, so that there is equal access across England. We also expect CCGs to give fair consideration to all patients who have had fertility treatment delayed so that no one misses out on treatment due to COVID-19, in line with NHS England’s recent statement.