Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has tabled a motion in Parliament calling for an end to the IVF postcode lottery.
The motion, published today, says ‘that the Government must hold local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to account and legislate to ensure that access to IVF provision on the NHS is equal across England’.
Layla was inspired by the story and campaigning of her constituent, Emily Scott, whose parliamentary petition calling for an end to the IVF postcode lottery now has over 6,000 signatures.
In Oxfordshire, only one IVF cycle is offered to women under 35. Emily Scott had started her second cycle, and was then presented with a bill for the treatment. NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines state that all women under 40 should receive three cycles of treatment, and many other CCGs follow this.
Moran has already secured the signatures of a cross-party group of MPs, including Wantage MP Ed Vaizey and Labour’s Steve McCabe. Lib Dem Health Spokesperson, and former leader, Sir Vince Cable MP has also added his name.
Commenting, Layla said:
“This motion is important to help us to build momentum behind the campaign to end the IVF postcode lottery.
“I spoke to Emily about her story at one of my constituency surgeries; it really moved me, and I will do everything I can to put pressure on the Government to act on this.
“The inequality of treatment for IVF is simply appalling, and I demand better. The Government must ensure that adequate funding and support is in place to ensure that all Clinical Commissioning Groups in England follow NICE’s guidelines.”
Emily Scott said:
“We have a National Health Service, not a Regional Health Service: it is fundamentally unethical and entirely out of keeping with the principles set out in the NHS Constitution for England that treatment for infertility should be dictated by something as arbitrary as postcode.
“We deserve and demand parity of provision on the NHS and will continue to campaign until we secure fair and equal access for everyone, regardless of where they live.”
Gwenda Burns, Co-Chair of Fertility Fairness, commented:
“Access to fertility treatment should be dependent on your medical need, and not your postcode or pay packet. The UK pioneered IVF over 40 years ago, but that achievement literally means nothing if only those who can afford to pay for fertility treatment benefit from it. It’s time to make IVF fair.”