The department of reproductive medicine at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, the UK’s oldest NHS fertility clinic, is at risk of closure and another centre has been put out for privatisation, as IVF services funded by the NHS increasignly become rationed.
The Guardian reports that the bosses at St Mary’s want to close the internationally renowned department as they cannot afford to fund a £10m upgrade of the unit.
In Leeds, the entire NHS provision of fertility and other gynaecology services was put out to tender earlier this year, with private clinics invited to bid for a 10-year contract estimated at £70m to provide reproductive care.
In Bristol, two years ago, the North Bristol NHS trust’s IVF clinic was sold to a private provider; the trust said it was no longer feasible to run because of a reduction in NHS-funded patients.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) reports that in England, the proportion of fertility treatment funded by the NHS dropped from 39% in 2012 to 35% in 2017 .
Full story in The Guardian, 19 April 2020