How has COVID-19 affected NHS funding for fertility investigations or IVF?

All fertility treatments were initially suspended on 23 March 2020 (including NHS funded treatment) along with other NHS funded elected procedures. From week commencing 11 May 2020, fertility clinics, who meet the HFEA criteria and were approved to restart treatments, could begin to re-open subject to strict safety guidelines enforced by the HFEA.

To ensure fair provision, the Health and Social Care Secretary wrote to all clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to confirm they are in a position to begin resuming fertility treatments for those in their area with their currently approved providers. He made it clear that all fertility patients should be dealt with fairly and not face any additional disadvantage as a result of the service suspension.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fertility treatment was discussed in a report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) published in May 2022. It highlighted that fewer IVF patients had experienced delays to treatment during the pandemic than it first anticipated, but that the NHS is still impacted with delays in referrals.

Read the full report, Impact of COVID-19 on fertility treatment 2020.