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24 November 2016
Patients in Bedfordshire will still be able to access specialist fertility services on the NHS following a decision taken at Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (BCCG’s) Governing Body meeting held today.
The decision was made following a 12-week public consultation that took place over the summer, attracting more than 1,000 responses, on whether gluten-free foods, over the counter medicines and specialist fertility services should continue to be provided by the NHS in Bedfordshire.
After considering the wide-ranging feedback from both members of the public and support organisations, the Governing Body today voted in favour of the proposal to no longer fund gluten-free foods and over the counter medicines on the NHS in Bedfordshire, but to continue to commission specialist fertility services in line with BCCG’s current policy.
Dr Alvin Low, Clinical Chair BCCG and Clinical Lead for the consultation said:
“At Bedfordshire CCG we always put the voice of clinicians and patients at the heart of what we do. We have used the consultation period to ensure that we heard views from the public, patients, clinical staff and support organisations - and those views have genuinely informed our decision making.
However, the case for change that accompanied the consultation remains, we still have more demand on our budget than we have budget to spend. We have a responsibility to do everything that we can to live within our means, and we will regularly review the services that we offer to ensure they best meet the needs of the entire population of Bedfordshire.”
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Notes to editors
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for the 450,000 people who live in Bedfordshire. This includes hospital, community health and mental health services.
BCCG is run by GPs, nurses, hospital doctors and other clinicians – the people you see whenever you come into contact with the NHS. All 54 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members of the CCG which is divided into five areas, which we call localities. These are: Bedford, Chiltern Vale, Leighton Buzzard, Ivel Valley and West Mid Bedfordshire and all of the 54 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members.
The CCG’s existing policy on funding for specialist fertility treatment was developed in February 2015:
Under the policy, the CCG currently, routinely, commissions the following treatments as appropriate for couples who meet evidence based criteria: