It’s clear there are many problems today with how people are able to access NHS funded fertility care. A postcode lottery of restrictions across the UK means that many people are refused the 3 funded cycles that are recommended by NICE. This can leave those who want a child but require assistance conceiving with no other option but to privately fund their own care. This can be extremely expensive.
BPAS sees many parallels between today’s fertility services and the way in which abortion care developed in this country when the law was changed in 1967: women were frequently unable to access NHS-funded treatment and were forced to seek the help of private providers, often at extortionate prices. We were established more than 50 years ago to provide women with a not-for-profit, high-quality alternative in the absence of NHS-funded services, while simultaneously campaigning for the right of all women to access funded care. Today, abortion services are an accepted part of NHS-funded women’s reproductive healthcare and standards across the sector are extremely high. Our advocacy and campaigning ensures it stays that way.
We aim to take the same approach to fertility services.
BPAS believes that all those who are clinically eligible should be able to access the 3 funded cycles recommended by NICE, and we will campaign to achieve this. We recently undertook some research into the extent of the IVF postcode lottery in England, and you can read our full report here. But if people do need to self-fund their treatment, they should be able to access high quality, evidence-based fertility care at not-for-profit prices.
BPAS intends to launch our own not-for-profit fertility service in Spring 2021. We have consulted with a wide range of stakeholders to inform the development of our service, and aim to provide ethical, evidence based, person-centred care that supports patients on what can often be an extremely difficult journey – and one that may often not end in a birth. We intend to only charge what it costs to provide a safe, high-quality and accessible service to patients who may be unable to access NHS funded care.
BPAS Fertility. Evidence-based, not-for-profit care.