Fertility: Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 21st January 2022.

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Photo of Olivia Blake Olivia Blake Shadow Minister (Climate Change and Net Zero)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timetable is for publishing the review into the variation in provision of NHS fertility services; and following that review, whether he plans to take steps to ensure that Clinical Commissioning Groups are prevented from setting additional non-clinical criteria for fertility services, including having children from previous relationships.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department undertook a review on the variation in access to National Health Service fertility services, which was completed in 2021. The results of this internal review will inform future policy. We will set out our initial aims in the Women’s Health Strategy, due to be published in the spring.

We expect local NHS commissioning bodies to commission fertility services in line with the National Institute for National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guidelines, to ensure equitable access in England. We are aware that some commissioners set additional non-clinical criteria, which can include having children from previous relationships. This is outside the best clinical practice within NICE’s fertility guidelines.

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