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Patient slams IVF "postcode lottery" in York

A woman from York who has been struggling to conceive naturally for three years says she and many women like her in the city are the victims of a postcode lottery within the NHS.

Karen Boardman spoke after the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group, which decides on NHS spending in the area, voted to keep a ban on fertility treatment because of a shortage of money.

Karen, who is 34, is now preparing with her husband Pete to spend up to £6,000 of their own money to have private fertility treatment. Success rates are low, and she had hoped she would be offered a second chance on the NHS - but that is now unlikely to happen.

The Commissioning Group, which says around 110 childless couples are expected to seek NHS IVF treatment each year at a total cost of £2 million, will consider the issue again early next Spring:

York fertility campaigner: "How can they do this?"

An IVF campaigner from York says she is devastated by the decision by NHS bosses in the city not to fund the treatment.

Karen Boardman, 34, from Heworth, has fought against what she calls the "postcode lottery" regarding the treatment, and helps run the York Fertility Network group.

In June, the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group's governing body agreed a policy of offering one cycle of IVF to people who met their criteria. But last night NHS managers said there was not enough money to fund the service.

Mrs Boardman said: "I don't know how they can snatch it away from us."

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York health chiefs backtrack on IVF

“I am delighted that the Governing Body has formally agreed the criteria, which now means that for the first time in five years, IVF is now going to be available to couples in the local area.”

– Dr Emma Broughton, Vale of York CCG, speaking in June

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the CCG’s Governing Body has voted to temporarily defer the commissioning of IVF services in the Vale of York for 2014-15.

– Dr Tim Hughes, Vale of York CCG, speaking today

No IVF for York couples

The NHS in York has backtracked on a decision earlier this summer to offer childless couples IVF treatment. The city is the only place in the UK not to offer at least one cycle of IVF.

In June, the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group's governing body agreed a policy of offering one cycle of IVF to people who met their criteria. It followed years where the treatment had been denied to people in the area because NHS managers said there was not enough money to fund the service.

But today the governing body narrowly voted not to introduce IVF treatment this year. They will look again at the issue at the end of this financial year.

York health chiefs consider re-introducing IVF on NHS

Health bosses in York have called a meeting tomorrow where they'll recommend reintroducing IVF on the NHS.

The news follows criticism from MPs and local mums including Louisa Starr who runs a fertility support group, after the city was named as the only place in the UK not to offer free treatment. The Vale of York Clinical Commissioning group says it hopes to be able to offer couples IVF from August.

IVF treatment concerns

A couple from Leeds are calling for changes to the way fertility treatment is handled after they spent 40,000 pounds on IVF they may not have needed.

After it failed, Nicola Medina fell pregnant naturally following a procedure for a condition she believes should have been spotted earlier. Victoria Whittam reports.

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Party time

Up to 400 very special children and their parents are having a party with staff from the assisted conception unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital. The annual get-together is being held in Halifax.

The unique camaraderie between our staff and patients means this event is always very popular. We are very proud of our reputation and the fact parents continue to come to us to help them become families and it is always a pleasure for us to see them again. We now have such a wide range specialist knowledge in all areas which puts patients at ease and reduces stress when they are going through difficult times. This party is a celebration for them and us and a highlight of our year.”

– Clinical nurse lead Helen Marvell