We want to hear the public’s views on our proposals to restrict access to three services in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES); vasectomies, female sterilisations and fertility treatment.
The reason we are proposing to restrict these services is that the population of (B&NES) is growing and changing and this is having an unprecedented impact on the local NHS budget, which is now significantly stretched. We need to make cost savings to help us meet our duty to live within our means, and not get into debt.
This financial situation has driven us to make several changes to the health services we commission, two of which started in early 2017 when we stopped funding prescriptions for gluten-free foods and over-the-counter medicines for short term ailments.
However, while the changes we have made so far have strengthened our financial position, we are still facing a possible deficit without taking further action. Therefore, we are now considering restricting other non-urgent services and want to hear your thoughts about what these should be.
There is more background information in our Frequently Asked Questions, in the next tab along or downloadable from here. We will add to these with any queries that arise during the course of the consultation.
We are proposing to:
- Stop funding male vasectomies and female sterilisations except in exceptional circumstances.
- Change the access criteria for fertility treatment to the following:
|Current criteria||Proposed changes|
|Female partner is aged 23-40 years||Female partner is aged 23-35 years|
|Female partner has a BMI of 19-30 for at least 6 months prior to treatment. Woman with polycystic ovaries with a BMI of 19-33 will be eligible||Female partner has a BMI of 19-30 for at least 6 months prior to treatment. This applies to all women.|
|No age limit for male partners.||The male partner (in the case of heterosexual couples) is aged 55 or younger.|
|No BMI criteria for male partners.||The male partner (in the case of heterosexual couples) has a BMI of 30 or less.|
|No criteria related to duration of infertility/time trying to conceive.||Duration of infertility of at least 2 years.|
We will continue to fund one full cycle of IVF treatment and one frozen cycle for those who meet the eligibility criteria.
There are also paper versions of the surveys available for download on the right hand side of this page.
The closing date for feedback is Wednesday 27 December 2017.