NHS trusts are ‘ignoring’ IVF guidelines say MPs

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MPs have criticised Hampshire NHS health bosses for making it harder for couples to get IVF treatment.

A study from a cross-party group of MPs found many primary care trusts (PCTs) have placed strict restrictions on who is eligible for IVF – resulting in a ‘postcode lottery’ of care.

In Hampshire, women are only eligible for treatment between the ages of 30 and 34.

This is despite guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in 2004 saying couples should have to three cycles of IVF on the NHS, where the woman is aged 23 to 39.

A new report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Infertility shows 73 per cent of NHS trusts are failing to follow the guidance.

Tory MP Gareth Johnson, chairman of the APPG on Infertility, said: ‘IVF treatment was invented in Britain and so, more than any other country, we should be championing its use.’

Nice is reviewing its guidance.

Health Minister Anne Milton said: ‘Many PCTs have made good progress towards implementing the Nice recommendations. I am aware, however, that a small number of PCTs with historical funding problems have temporarily suspended provision of IVF services. I have already expressed my concerns about this approach and would encourage all PCTs to have regard to the current Nice guidance.’