Clinicians at North East Essex CCG are seeking local people’s views on their plans to restrict IVF services in the future – and they are inviting everyone to give their feedback. Under the plans, they are proposing restrictions to the current IVF service as it does not provide sufficient benefit to the overall health economy.
Certain groups of patients would still be able to access IVF: for instance, those patients who are undergoing medical treatment that would leave them infertile.
They also propose that couples experiencing difficulties in conceiving could still seek medical advice through their GP in the first instance.
Dr Hasan Chowhan, Clinical Director at the North East Essex CCG, said: We recognise that infertility is a very difficult issue for those affected by it and we have not taken this proposal lightly or without engagement with other clinical professionals. We fully intend to review this decision in the near future.
Between 2013/14, the CCG paid for 107 fertility procedures which amounted to £386k – the equivalent of:
- 25 drug treatment courses available for breast cancer;
- 15 community nurses;
- 104 hip replacements;
- 108 patients being admitted to an acute stroke unit at Colchester General Hospital.
Samantha Hepplewhite, Acting Chief Officer at the North East Essex CCG, said:
We have managed to achieve around £35m savings over recent years. However this challenge will continue as we need to find a further £14m savings each year for the next four years.
We have a requirement to stay within budget and if we do not implement these decisions and further proposals then we would have to select other services to restrict. Current local demands for healthcare services are costing more money than is currently available.
In addition, the CCG is also intending to restrict the following services:
- Any Qualified Provider – Spinal Service – The CCG would control activity and expenditure for manual therapy and spinal services, ahead of these services moving to the lead provider arrangement in April 2016.
- Clinical Priorities Policy – The purpose of this policy is to provide a mechanism for deciding whether referral of an individual patient for a specific assessment and treatment should be funded, based on clinical effectiveness.We are reviewing this policy to bring it in line with other NHS commissioners.
- Continuing Healthcare – We believe that new patients requiring NHS continuing healthcare care at home, should be entitled to up to 10% above what it would cost for the same care in a residential or nursing home setting.
- Gluten free – The CCG is restricting the prescribing of gluten free foods to young people, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and stopping prescribing these products altogether to all other adults. These products are now available in shops and there is a variety of alternatives widely available.
- Threshold for elective procedures – All patients being referred for non-urgent elective surgery and who are smokers should be referred to smoking cessation services at the initial referral/assessment/appointment. Meanwhile, overweight and obese patients should be strongly encouraged to lose weight before their operation. Failure to attend smoking cessation or weight loss programmes may have an impact on whether individuals could undergo their procedure.
- Vasectomy and female sterilisation – The community vasectomy and female sterilisation services are being reviewed by the CCG as these services have no or limited clinical value – rather they are considered as one of many forms of contraception. Both vasectomy and female sterilisation will however be available in cases of complex health needs.
Please see our consultation document with further details at www.neessexccg.nhs.uk
The CCG is holding a number of engagement events over the coming weeks aimed allowing local people to find out more about its plans.
|Friday 26 June (3pm)||Clacton – Sam’s Hall, CVST, Rosemary Road, Clacton CO15 1NZ|
|Tuesday 7 July (6pm)||Colchester – Room 12a, Primary Care Centre, Turner Road, Colchester CO4 5JR|
|Friday 10 July (2pm)||Clacton – Princes Theatre, Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton CO15 1SE|
|Thursday 16 July (6.30pm)||Clacton – Princes Theatre, Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton CO15 1SE|
Please email to confirm your attendance at any of the above events –
[antibot mailto=”[email protected]”]
The closing date for feedback on our IVF proposal is Monday 7 September 2015. If you have any feedback in relation to these changes, please email your comments to [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] or write to PALS, North East Essex CCG, Primary Care Centre, Turner Road, Colchester CO4 5JR.