This engagement has now closed.         The Engagement Report is available here.

 

 

Introduction

When people living in Swindon and Shrivenham have problems with infertility the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has provided funding for infertility treatment services (such as IVF) to help women become pregnant.

In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a high-cost treatment and the CCG is required to ensure that we balance the funding for this treatment alongside many other cost pressures in our local NHS.

 

What is happening?

NHS Swindon CCG is proposing changes to its current IVF policy and is keen to explain to the public why we are doing this. We are committed to seeking the views of local people, to understand any potential impact the proposed changes may have.

 

Why is this happening now?

a)    For a number of years Swindon CCG has aligned its fertility policy with the guidance produced by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).The most recent NICE update of the Clinical Guideline (CG) ‘Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems’, was released in February 2013 and the current Swindon CCG policy ‘Assisted conception’ (October 2012) needs to be reviewed in the light of these recommendations.

b)    Currently, Swindon CCG offers more IVF cycles compared to Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES) CCGs. The policy review needs to consider the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) work programme with a view in potentially agreeing the same criteria and provision of services for assisted reproduction services for infertile couples across Swindon, Wiltshire and BaNES CCGs (both these CCGs reviewed and amended their policies in 2016). However, it is acknowledged that some differences presently remain in the current polices and Wiltshire and BaNES do not plan to amend or align their policies at this time, pending a more substantial planned review within 2017/18.

 

Who will this affect?

  • People in Swindon and Shrivenham who may wish to access specialist fertility services
  • GPs who need to refer them for treatment
  • Hospital consultants to whom they are referred for treatment
  • Providers of IVF services

 

NHS Funding for IVF treatment

CCGs are allocated an annual NHS budget which is used to commission (buy) a wide range of health services and treatments for its local population, in accordance with local health care needs.

Swindon CCG has provided funding for IVF treatment for local people but this must be balanced against funding requirements for many other necessary local health services and treatment (such as emergency care services, treatment for long-term conditions, community nurses, surgical operations etc.)

From April 2015 to March 2016 Swindon CCG funded IVF treatment for 135 women and the cost to the NHS for Swindon and Shrivenham residents has been £449,780.

 

What is the current IVF policy for the CCG?

The change the CCG is proposing to the current IVF policy is in relation to the availability of fresh and frozen cycles:

 

2013 NICE guidance

Current Swindon CCG IVF Policy

Proposed Swindon CCG IVF Policy

Availability of fresh cycles and frozen cycles

 

Full fresh cycle and all subsequent frozen cycles

Three fresh cycles (and frozen cycles where available from the fresh cycle),  maximum six embryo transfers

 

One fresh cycle with a maximum two frozen embryo transfers

 

To note: Of the CCGs offering IVF to patients, 125 CCGs fund one cycle of treatment. 46 CCGs fund two cycles of treatment and only 34 CCGs fund three cycles. 4 CCGs do not fund any treatment whatsoever.[1]

The proposed change would bring Swindon CCG’s IVF policy in-line with Wiltshire CCGs policy in relation the availability of fresh and frozen cycles.

The Engagement document for local IVF services in Swindon and Shrivenham can be read here.

 

How you can share your views

To make sure your voice is heard, you can share your views in the following ways:

  • Complete the online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VM7JN58
  • A paper version of the survey is also available by calling 01793 683700
  • Email us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Write to us at NHS Swindon CCG Freepost  (Please mark on it: IVF engagement)

Responses must be received by 5pm on Friday 17 February, 2017