What are the funding options for IVF?

Most people will require more than one cycle to be successful, we consider the funding options for IVF.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that for the best chance of a successful outcome from IVF treatment patients should  be offered up to three cycles of IVF on the NHS but there are few places where this level of funding is available. 

Funding options for IVF

NICE provides recommendations to health professionals based on medical best practice and, after extensive research, NICE found that three cycles of IVF ensure the greatest opportunity for success and includes this in its guidelines.

However, unfortunately, the availability of IVF treatment through the NHS is inconsistent across the country as each Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) can set its own priorities. This means that, although NICE recommends best medical practice, budget restrictions mean these guidelines are not followed by many local NHS services

Bourn Hall has partnered with Access Fertility, who provide multi-cycle packages and money back guarantees, to help more couples access this level of treatment when NHS funding is not available.

NHS funding for IVF

In areas where the CCGs are funding IVF, Bourn Hall is an approved provider for NHS funded fertility treatment and has contracts with CCGs across the East of England.

Each CCG has its own eligibility criteria and levels of funding.  You will see from our map that some CCGs do not fund IVF at all and others offer differing numbers of cycles. Typical eligibility criteria include age, BMI and that there are no children already in the family.

The first step to see if you are eligible for NHS funded treatment is to visit your GP and see if you can be referred to your local hospital for testing and diagnosis.

If you need IVF treatment and you meet the eligibility criteria, your hospital consultant will make a referral to one of the NHS approved fertility clinics.  These will include Bourn Hall centres across the East of England and four other  providers based in London. You can choose the clinic that you feel is right for you and will be able let your consultant know if you wish to come to us.

Our map aims to provide guidance but the situation changes regularly. To find out what is available in your area you need to contact your GP.

East Anglia CCG map Feb 2020 funding options for IVF
Map of East Anglia showing CCG areas and number of NHS-funded IVF cycles offered, as of February 2020 (click to expand)

Self funding IVF treatment

Many people requiring IVF will not be able to be able to access NHS funding and so will need to self-fund their treatment.

It is possible to ‘pay as you go’ and pay the clinic directly for the treatment you need, and about 30 percent of patients will be successful first time.

However, the majority of people will need several cycles of treatment. At Bourn Hall about 8 out of 10 patients will take home a baby within three cycles of IVF treatment.

In a fresh IVF cycle one or two embryos will be transferred with any remaining good quality embryos frozen for use later allowing you extra attempts at achieving a pregnancy without having another fresh cycle. A frozen embryo transfer cycle requires less medication and is less expensive than a full cycle of IVF.

In response to the cut backs in NHS funding for IVF and to make this level of treatment more accessible, Bourn Hall has partnered with the financing organisation Access Fertility.

Access Fertility funding options for IVF

Access Fertility provides several funding options for IVF. Access Fertility was founded by Ash Miller in 2013. He wanted to help patients access the amount of treatment they need in order to have a baby, while reducing the financial risk that can be associated with treatment.

Access Fertility helps to ease the financial burden of IVF by offering multi cycle programmes. This means that if more than one cycle of fertility treatment is needed in order to conceive it will work out cheaper than buying individual treatments directly from the clinic.

The refund programmes offer you up to two or three fresh cycles of IVF with unlimited frozen embryo transfers and money back options if you do not have a baby.  Access Fertility have introduced an unlimited programme which will provide you with unlimited IVF treatment cycles over a two-year period also with money back options.

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