CCG takes to the streets to hear people’s views

Our street team will be at The Hollies in Midsomer Norton on Tuesday 30 January from 1.30 – 4.30pm to seek people’s feedback on proposals to restrict access to three non-urgent services.

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.

“When we announced our financial position in June, we were open about the fact that we would need to make difficult decisions about the best way to fairly distribute NHS resources in B&NES,” said Dr Ruth Grabham, the CCG’s Medical Director and a GP in Bath.

“None of these decisions have been taken lightly, and throughout the process we have – and continue to – question the best way to commission services that are of the greatest benefit to the most patients.

“We have considered a long list of non-urgent services already, and earlier this year we took the decision to stop funding for gluten-free foods and over-the-counter medicines for short-term ailments for all but the most vulnerable patients. However, to fulfil our duty to live within the budget we’ve been given for B&NES, we now have to consider other ways we could save money and that includes looking at non-urgent services.”

The consultation closes on Wednesday 31 January.  You can find out more and feedback your views by completing our surveys here.

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