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Couple launch petition to make IVF funding 'fairer'

Emily and Ben Scott have launched a petition Photo:

A couple who have been trying to have a baby for several years have launched a petition for changes to the way that IVF funding is administered.

Ben and Emily Scott from Abingdon in Oxfordshire say that they want the national guidelines to be applied in the same way throughout the country.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued national guidelines on the provision of in vitro fertilisation for people with fertility problems, however different health authorities have interpreted those guidelines in different ways. In some areas patients are allowed funding for one round of IVF, while in other areas they may be permitted as many as two or three cycles of IVF.

The charity 'Fertility Fairness' says that the guidelines have been interpreted differently in different areas Credit: Fertility Fairness

The Scotts had had one round of treatment, and had already started a second attempt at IVF, when they were told they were only entitled to one cycle of treatment on the NHS.

The couple say they were surprised because other parts of the country offer funding for two or three cycles. The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation in charge of the funding in their area, has said that requests for extra funding can be made, but the treatment is low priority.

IVF treatment is governed by NICE guidelines

"I mean it was life altering. We had a set path and we were invested in a process and it's a gruelling process. It's emotional, it's physical, it takes so much energy out of you, and then to get halfway through it and be told that actually you're not being funded when you thought you were...it is just completely devastating."

– Emily Scott
Statement from the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group