Struggling to conceive in Essex? You might now be eligible for NHS-funded IVF

From 1st April 2023 couples living in Mid and South Essex will be able to access NHS-funded IVF treatment if they meet the criteria; this follows a decision made in February by the Integrated Care Board responsible for healthcare provision in the region.

The news has been welcomed by Bourn Hall staff and patients. Katy paid for her own IVF treatment after missing out on funding purely because she moved from one area of Essex to another. Talking about the decision to remove the ‘postcode lottery’ in an interview with BBC Radio Essex she said: “For so many couples this is going to bring so much hope and help them to take the next step in their journey towards starting a family.

“There are some people who need IVF but may have been put off because they can’t raise the funds. Now, this is finally being reversed.”

To gain two cycles of NHS funded IVF couples need to have been trying for a baby for two years (unless diagnosed with infertility), the female partner to have a BMI of 19-30, and to have no children from a previous relationship living with you – these are some of the criteria, do check with your GP for more information.

Katy and Charlie
Katy and Charlie

Mid and South Essex ICB to fund IVF

It was after listening to people like Katy that the decision was made to give all couples in Essex the same chance to have treatment.

Dr Ronan Fenton, Medical Director of the Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board said: “On becoming an Integrated Care Board last summer we wanted to make sure that what we offer to our local people is as fair as possible to all and informed by the latest guidance and best practice.

“It was good to see from the consultation that there was high level of support for our proposals, and I’m very pleased to have ensured that local people now have the same access to these NHS services wherever they live within mid and south Essex.”

Dr Ronan Fenton
Dr Ronan Fenton [credit: Mid and South Essex ICS]

Bourn Hall is only clinic based in Essex to offer NHS-funded treatment

Bourn Hall provides NHS-funded IVF treatment across Essex from its clinics in Wickford, Colchester and Cambridge and is offering a review for patients, some of whom may now be eligible for funding.

Rebecca Green, Lead Fertility Midwife at Bourn Hall Essex, says: “Many people have become ‘stuck in the system’. Although the decision to refer ultimately lies with a hospital consultant, if you live in Essex and know that you suffer from infertility, do come and have a chat with one of our fertility nurses. We can review your test results and medical history and explain your options.”

Katy says that while the changes in NHS funding policy are too late to help her, she feels ‘very blessed’ that her IVF worked and she is now mum to an 18-month old little boy. For anyone starting out on their IVF journey she has the following advice:

“Find yourself a close-knit support group. Have a small group of people you can lean on, because fertility treatment definitely has its ups and downs, but it is worth it.”

Becky Green outside Bourn Hall Essex
Rebecca Green outside Bourn Hall Essex

More information

Contact us for a free Essex Discovery Call. Make sure to include ‘Discovery Call’ in the subject of your email.

AMH is one of the tests used to decide eligibility for funding – our nurse Leona explains what it tells you.

Find out more about Bourn Hall’s clinics offering IVF in Essex.

Bourn Hall provides both NHS-funded and self-funded IVF treatment to patients in the East of England – see more about our funding options.

Find the Integrated Care Board which covers your area on the NHS website.

Katy, aged 32, is now mum to Charlie following successful IVF treatment at Bourn Hall – read more about her fertility journey here.

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