Tory frontbencher Grant Shapps has called on the Government to end the 'postcode lottery' around the provision of IVF treatment. New research by the Conservatives reveals that more than eight out of ten primary care trusts (PCTs) are not offering the full three cycles of IVF treatment recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
- How was the research compiled?
A survey of PCTs was carried out using Freedom of Information requests into their provision for couples suspected to be infertile. The survey was conducted between May and June and four out of five PCTs responded with the information.
- What is the background?
In 2004 NICE recommended PCTs should fund three cycles of IVF for women under 40, but according to the survey, only 18 per cent of PCTs are offering three cycles. Nearly half only offered one cycle and just under a third offered two.
The story was discussed on BBC Breakfast News and featured on the BBC News website. Shapps wrote a column on the Guardian website under the headline: 'End the postcode lottery.' The story was also covered in The Guardian and the Daily Mail.
- PR support
A press release was distributed to the media, but Conservative Party press officer Giles Bancroft declined to discuss the PR strategies involved.
3.5m, Number of UK people affected by infertility at some point
£5k, Amount each IVF cycle costs