• The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) welcomes new guidance for fertility clinics issued by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
• BPAS will open England’s first not-for-profit fertility service, BPAS Fertility, in 2021, to give patients ineligible for NHS funding an option to access affordable, evidence-based, high-quality care
• The guidance was written in response to concerns about fertility clinics’ practices, such as a lack of price transparency and misleading claims about success rates, meaning patients may be unable to compare clinics.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) welcomes new guidance published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which sets out fertility clinics’ obligations when treating private patients. The guidance was drafted in response to concerns about fertility clinics’ practices, such as a lack of price transparency and misleading claims about success rates, meaning patients may be unable to compare clinics.
BPAS will open England’s first not-for-profit fertility service, BPAS Fertility, in 2021, having provided abortion care for many decades on behalf of the NHS. The national charity states it wants to give patients who are ineligible for NHS-funded fertility care due to the postcode lottery an affordable option to access treatment.
Marta Jansa Perez, Director of Embryology at BPAS, said:
“Having worked in the NHS for years I know how outstanding that service can be, but I also know there are significant gaps in funding which leave patients no option but to have private treatment. The majority of IVF cycles provided in the UK are self-funded by patients, often at great personal cost. Having fertility treatment can be a vulnerable experience, and the financial burden adds an extra layer of complexity for patients, who are often not used to funding their own healthcare. All patients deserve a transparent service and comprehensive support from their fertility clinic at every stage of their fertility journey. It’s great to see the CMA recognise that by issuing this robust guidance to clinics, and especially highlighting the importance of transparent information. We hope all fertility care providers will comply and this guidance will improve the experiences of all patients who fund their own care.”
BPAS is a charity that 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.