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IVF couples in East Anglia to get three cycles on NHS

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Childless couples in the East of England will now get three cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS after PCTs agreed to implement NICE guidelines in full.

 

The 14 PCTs have agreed a new fertility policy which will mean eligible couples get three treatment cycles on the NHS with a maximum of six embryos transferred.

 

Specialist fertility services can now tender for the work and the policy will come into force in April 2009.

 

The news comes as the Department of Health publishes an interim report from an expert group on commissioning NHS infertility provision.

 

This calls for all commissioners to step up their efforts to reduce the postcode lottery in NHS-funded IVF cycles. A Department of Health survey of PCTs in 2007 found only seven (5%) of 152 PCTs in England provided three cycles on the NHS.

 

It recommends a national tariff for fertility services and that ministers continue to monitor IVF provision.

 

The final report is due out in June 2009.

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