Some changes to the Access to Infertility Treatment Policy
A joint commissioning policy was developed in partnership with the Yorkshire and Humber Expert Fertility Panel (a panel predominantly made up of clinicians and fertility experts) and adopted in 2013. Recently CCGs across the Yorkshire and the Humber agreed to work together again to update this policy in light of new NICE guidance and other policy changes.
What the policy is
The shared policy sets out who is eligible for specialist fertility services.
What the policy is not
This shared policy is not about how many cycles of infertility treatments are paid for by individual CCGs. This is covered by each CCG’s own local policy around funding of specialist infertility treatment.
What this webpage is
The new policy contains some changes. The majority of these are simple changes to wording. These will either make the policy easier to read or reflect changes to clinical terminology as infertility treatment develops. These small changes will not affect how couples may be eligible for treatment.
However, there are four changes that might affect whether a couple may be eligible for NHS funded specialist fertility treatment.
This page highlights and explains how these four main changes might affect people. It should be noted, though, that overall the policy will make access to specialist fertility treatment more equitable to people who are registered as patients with one of our CCGs.
So what are the proposed changes?
Eligibility of Overseas Visitors
Changes to the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 were introduced into Parliament on 19 July 2017. As a result, from 21 August 2017, assisted conception services are no longer included in the scope of services.
This means those people who need to pay the NHS surcharge are no longer eligible for NHS funded assisted conception. However, initial fertility investigations are out of the scope of assisted conception in keeping with the NICE CG 156 and will be routinely funded up to the point of referral for assisted conception.
Where one partner has a different immigration status to the other, treatment will not be funded if one partner is not eligible as the policy applies as a couple. So, if either of the couple has to pay the immigration health surcharge, they will not be eligible for NHS funded specialist infertility treatment other than initial fertility investigations.
The definition of Infertility has been explicitly amended to include Transgender which will broaden access to NHS funded specialist infertility treatment to transgender couples.
Same Sex Couples
The new policy will give same sex couples access to NHS funded IUI and DI (Artificial Insemination and Donor Insemination) which increases access to treatment for same sex couples.
Need to be smoke free
In order to be eligible for NHS funded specialist fertility treatment, couples must be able to demonstrate they have been smoke free for at least three months. This will be confirmed with a carbon monoxide breath test.
This change is based on national guidance about how smoking has a negative effect on the chances of successful IVF treatment.
Documents you might want to read or download
The leaflet contains the information on this webpage. You can pick up a hard copy in North East Lincolnshire GP practices or download it by clicking the image below.
If you choose, you can read the full version of both the existing and proposed new policies by clicking the links below.
If you have any comments about the new policy, we would like to hear from you before 19th August 2019. After this date, your views will help inform your local CCG as they consider whether to adopt the new policy.
You can also tell us your comments by ringing 0300 3000 500.
Alternatively, you can write to our FREEPOST address which is:
FREEPOST, NHS NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE CCG