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Cambridgeshire to welcome 'home' NHS fertility treatment after landmark decision

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A landmark decision to resinstate NHS funded fertility treatment in Cambridgeshire once again could 'help people to achieve their dream'.

Following a decision made yesterday (Tuesday) by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, NHS funded IVF treatment will be available to those who meet the strict eligibility criteria - like Manea couple Donna and Chris Young who became parents to son Ronnie (5) after their IVF treatment worked first time.

Subject to ratification next month, it is proposed to fund one fresh cycle and up to two frozen embryo transfers, potentially giving patients three chances to achieve a pregnancy.

Donna Young from Manea with her son Ronnie (48957836)
Donna Young from Manea with her son Ronnie (48957836)

Donna, who had NHS-funded IVF treatment at Bourn Hall in 2015, said: “We often look back on our journey with Bourn Hall and are still so thankful for their support and for having our treatment funded by the NHS.

“Even offering one try on the NHS offers hope, we are proof of that - we had one try and were successful.

"This isn’t going to be the case for everyone but it can help people achieve their dream.”

The world’s first IVF clinic, Bourn Hall, which has a number of full service clinics including in Cambridge, King’s Lynn and Peterborough. has welcomed the decision to reinstate NHS-funded IVF in the county and bring it 'home'.

Dr Mike Macnamee, Chief Executive of Bourn Hall, says the news will bring hope to many. He said: “All of us at Bourn Hall are delighted by the CCG’s decision and we look forward to welcoming NHS patients from Cambridgeshire back to our clinic.

“For the last four years the Cambridge clinic has been in the very strange position of being able to provide NHS IVF treatment to patients across the East of England – but not to those who live on our doorstep."

Hannah Turner and her husband, from Cambridgeshire, had NHS-funded IVF treatment at Bourn Hall which worked first time. Their son Emmett was born in August 2016 – a year before Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG took the decision to cease funding.

“I would have been devastated if we hadn’t been able to have NHS-funded treatment,” she says. “It is absolutely heartbreaking for those who have not had that option over the last four years and I am so delighted that this is set to change.”

Funding was halted by the clinical commissioning group in 2017 against public opinion. This meant that Bourn Hall could treat NHS patients from Bedfordshire, Luton, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex – but not Cambridgeshire. The place where the IVF pioneers established a clinic following their success with the first ‘test-tube’ baby Louise Brown and trained the consultants who would set up their own clinics worldwide, making the treatment available to millions of people.

Last year, Bourn Hall Cambridge achieved record IVF success rates.

Dr Macnamee continues: “When you are experiencing infertility, your whole life can feel as though it is in limbo; being able to have treatment is so important. Even if people are not successful, they have the knowledge that they have done everything they could and can move on with their lives.”

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