Campaigners celebrate IVF victory

AN ESSEX MP who helped campaign for a Colchester fertility clinic to continue supplying free IVF treatment has said he is “delighted” that NHS treatment will still be available.

James Hore

AN ESSEX MP who helped campaign for a Colchester fertility clinic to continue supplying free IVF treatment has said he is “delighted” that NHS treatment will still be available.

There was shock earlier this year when it emerged couples from Essex desperate to have children through IVF faced travelling as far-a-field as Leicester in order to receive free NHS treatment.

The East of England specialist commissioning group announced the number of free in vitro fertilisation sessions for patients on the NHS would jump from one to three.


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However, the highly successful Isis Fertility Clinic in Colchester was not chosen as one of the locations where the free treatment would be available.

But now the Bourn Hall Clinic in Cambridge has taken over the Isis centre and because it was one of the sites chosen to receive NHS funding that will now also be available in Colchester.

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Bernard Jenkin, MP for North Essex, has been supporting the campaign but said he was disappointed the free treatment would only be available as a result of the take over and not a policy re-think.

He said: “I have been campaigning for Colchester to retain an IVF clinic since the NHS made the decision to exclude Isis from its list of Eastern region clinics.

“It meant Colchester patients would have had to travel to clinics in Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire and west London to receive treatment.

“I am very pleased that people from north Essex will not have so far to travel for treatment.

“However, it is disappointing that this outcome has come about in spite of the East of England Specialist Commissioning Group not because of it.”

Mr Jenkin, along with Mark Passmore of Isis Fertility Clinic, had been calling on the East of England Specialist Commissioning Group to reconsider its decision to axe the Colchester clinic's NHS funding since the decision in May.

The Isis clinic boasts one of the best pregnancy rates for women under 35 - with one in two getting pregnant, which is 10% above the national average rate.

When the decision was announced back in May the commissioning group said patients would be benefiting from a wider choice of treatment centres.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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