ESSEX is within in touching distance of being the worst region in the country for access to IVF on the NHS.
Three Essex CCGs have already removed all provision of NHS IVF (Basildon and Brentwood, North East Essex, and mid-Essex.) West Essex is set to do the same.
And Southend? Well the CCG is looking to stop all NHS provision here too.
Currently eligible couples are offered two partial NHS-funded IVF cycles. About 50 people unable to have children any other way are helped here yearly – costing the NHS about £200,000.
IVF is silly expensive to have privately. Do you have a spare £8,000 (minimum) to blow on a single cycle with no guaranteed baby at the end? I don’t.
But it’s not a done deal yet. Southend CCG is consulting until October 26. And it’s so important you make sure your voice is heard.
You know someone affected by infertility. They might not talk to you about it, but one in seven couples in the UK have difficulty conceiving, which means it’s odds on you know more than someone – you’ll know a few.
Without IVF on the NHS I wouldn’t have my cheeky, giggly toddler.
I know we need to make savings in the NHS. But infertility isn’t a lifestyle choice. It’s a heartbreak that you can do nothing about without medical help. Cut gastric bands for people who have chosen to live an unhealthy life. Cut e-cigarettes on prescription. Cosmetic surgery, and NHS prescriptions for gluten-free foods.
But don’t cut a couples only chance to have a child.
IVF isn’t an easy process. It’s invasive (fancy being sedated while a huge needle is stuck through your uterus to your ovaries to extract your eggs? Thought not.) and emotionally tough. It’s a last resort. A final hope. Don’t take that away.
This post was first published in the Echo on Friday, October 6, 2017: www.echo-news.co.uk