Bring back hope for childless couples pleads Manea dad who has launched a petition for free IVF treatment in Cambridgeshire
A Fenland father whose son was born thanks to IVF has launched a campaign to have the fertility treatment available free of charge in Cambridgeshire.
Chris Young and his wife Donna, from Manea, have IVF to thank for their son Ronnie, who was born after free fertility treatment in 2015.
However, other couple's facing the heartache of infertility are currently denied IVF on the NHS in the county following a decision by local health bosses last week.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which pays for health services in our area, announced it would not be re-introducing free IVF any time soon due to a cash crisis within the organisation.
NHS-funded routine treatment for women under 40 is available almost everywhere else in England, only four other CCGs do not offer it.
The local CCG suspended almost all of its specialist fertility services in 2017, including IVF, citing its then £21.6m deficit, which has now risen to a forecast £75m this year.
A spokesman said the CCG is the third lowest funded in England, but the decision made on August 6 is expected to save just £700,000 a year – less than one per cent of the deficit.
The CCG estimates that 159 patients have been impacted by the suspension between September 2017 and June 2019, with a further 302 patients expected to be affect by 2021.
Chris believes the treatment should be available to help other couples like him and Donna, who are desperate for a child but cannot afford expensive IVF themselves.
As result he has launched a petition calling for it to be re-instated and said: "This is something that is so very close to my heart because without it our son would not be here. This is totally unfair to shatter and take away people's dreams of parenthood. Please support this cause it's a worthy petition."
Dr Thanos Papthanasiou, lead clinician at Bourn Hall Clinic, which has been pushing for free treatment to be re-instated, has also blasted the CCG's decision.
He said: "This will be devastating for the couples for whom IVF offers the only chance of having a baby and that have been waiting to hear this decision. Infertility is a medical condition that can have a lifelong impact on emotional wellbeing. Only a very small percentage of the population needs to have IVF but the emotional impact of infertility on that small group must not be underestimated.”
To sign Chris' petition go to: https://www.change.org/p/nhs-bring-back-the-nhs-ivf-funding-to-cambridgeshie?