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BPAS comment on Fertility Trends report

The annual Fertility Trends report has been released today by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, HFEA, during the organisation’s 30th anniversary year.

Commenting on the report, Marta Jansa Perez, PhD, Director of Embryology at BPAS Fertility, said:

“The research released today by the HFEA demonstrates the incredible progress in the efficacy and safety of fertility treatment in the UK over the last 30 years, enabling tens of thousands of people to fulfil their dream of having a baby. Fertility services are also crucial in supporting the development of different family structures, providing same sex couples and those without a partner the ability to try to become parents. The UK has become a world-leading source of innovation and research, and this must be celebrated.

“However, the report also lays bare the harsh reality of access to NHS-funded treatment. The number of NHS-funded cycles in Scotland has risen over the past five years, from 58% in 2014 to 62% in 2019. However, NHS funding has declined in all other parts of the UK. Funded cycles in England have fallen from 40% of all cycles performed in 2014 to 32% of cycles in 2019. In Wales, they fell from 42% to 39% over the same period, and in Northern Ireland 50% of cycles were funded in 2014, while in 2019 the rate was 34%. The data released today by the HFEA indicates that it is younger age groups – for whom there is statistically the greatest chance of cycle leading to a live birth – most affected by funding cuts.

“As the NHS recovers from the pandemic, we are concerned that pressure on CCGs may lead to further cuts to funded treatment. Against this backdrop of increasing restrictions to NHS-funded care, we are proud to be launching our not-for-profit IVF service in 2021. We intend to only charge what it costs to provide a safe, high-quality and accessible service to patients who may be unable to access NHS funded care. Over the course of the next 30 years of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, we are committed to being at the forefront of ethical, compassionate, high-quality fertility care and research, and are excited to open our first clinic later this year.” 

ENDS

Notes for editors

The full report, Fertility Treatment 2019: Trends and Figures, is available on the HFEA website here.

For further information please contact BPAS on press@bpas.org or 07881 265276.

About BPAS

BPAS is a charity which sees over 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/

BPAS will be launching a not-for-profit fertility service in 2021 to provide ethical, evidence-based, person-centred care that supports patients. We intend to only charge what it costs to provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service to patients who may be unable to access NHS-funded care.