Does a Postcode Lottery for IVF funding exist in England?: A Dataset Analysis looking at IVF policy and activity

2018-12-10T09:42:12Z (GMT) by Susan Gorman David Gillott
Background: NICE Guidelines recommend that equal access to treatment should be given to every patient, however there are many reports of inequality across the country in accessing these treatments.

Aims:
To identify differences in policy for NHS funding of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) across England.
To identify how policy differences affect activity.

Method: This study is a dataset analysis, looking at the 209 CCGs in England. All data on funding is from the period 2012-2014. This data was transformed and then used to investigate the relationship between policy, activity and funding of IVF across the country.

Outcomes:
Most CCGs (61.2%) offer only 1 NHS-funded cycles
35% of CCGs in the North of England offer 3 cycles - this is the highest for any area of the country
8% of CCGs in the Midlands and the East offer 0 cycles
The correlation co-efficient between the number of cycles offered and the number of NHS-funded cycles carried out is 0.09
5.43 IVF cycles per 1000 people were carried out in Hertfordshire and the South Midlands - the most active region of the country per capita
77.9% of IVF cycles carried out in the region of Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral were NHS-funded - the highest of any region

Discussion: The discussion analyses these results in further detail and through the inclusion of a divided coloured map of England, helps to further illustrate the regional bias. Apparent from this is that the North of England prioritises IVF funding more than any other region, and thereby a greater proportion of NHS-funded cycles take place here than anywhere else in the country

References: A.Borini, Fertility Fairness; HFEA: I.Messinis, NICE; The Online Recruitment Resource: Your Fertility

This work was presented at Fertility 2018, the UK's largest annual conference which focuses on fertility and reproductive medicine. The link to the conference's abstract booklet is linked in the Reference section below.