Consultation reopens on plans to restrict access to three non-urgent services

NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (BaNES CCG) is reopening its consultation on proposals to restrict access to fertility treatment, vasectomies and female sterilisations. The consultation will now run until 31 January 2018.

This decision is in response to feedback at a public meeting held on Monday 8 January where people raised concerns that the CCG had not allowed sufficient time for the consultation and had not taken into account the Christmas break when people would be too busy to respond to the proposals.

The CCG, which is responsible for buying and monitoring NHS health services in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), is proposing to remove NHS funding for vasectomies and female sterilisations in all but exceptional circumstances.

It is also proposing to continue providing one cycle of IVF for individuals who qualify for NHS-funded fertility treatment, but that to qualify, women need to be aged 23–35 years, men under 55 years and couples need to have been trying for a baby for at least two years. As with vasectomies and sterilisations, the CCG will still consider funding IVF treatment for people who do not meet these criteria but for whom there are exceptional circumstances.

The CCG is proposing these restrictions because it faces unprecedented financial challenges. This is in common with many other CCGs around the country, as NHS budgets are stretched by a growing demand for services and changing needs among the population.

Tracey Cox, Chief Officer at the CCG said; “There was feedback at our public meeting that the consultation period was too short and we should give people more time after Christmas to respond.  So we are reopening the consultation until 31 January to enable as many people as possible to share their views and ideas.”

The deadline for the consultation was originally 27 December but resumes today until 31 January.

To share your views on our proposals about fertility treatment, please complete the survey here.

To share your views on our proposals about vasectomy and female sterilisation services, please complete the survey here.

Alternatively, email banes.yourvoice@nhs.net with your comments or call 01225 831 800 to ask for a copy of the surveys be sent to you.