25/02/2004

Women to be offered one free IVF treatment from 2005

Thousands of women could get one free IVF treatment following new NHS guidelines, the health department has announced today.

The guidelines from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) will mean that: all women aged between 23 and 39 who meet the clinical criteria will get at least one full cycle of IVF from April 2005; and couples who do not already have a child living with them will get priority.

According to official figures, one-in-seven couples experience problems when trying for a baby.

Health Secretary John Reid said: "I am glad that NICE itself recognises that the NHS cannot reasonably make this expansion overnight. Our immediate priority must be to ensure a national level of provision of IVF is available wherever people live."

He said that offering at least one full cycle of treatment to all those eligible by next April was the first step.

"In the longer term I would expect the NHS to make progress towards full implementation of the NICE guidance."

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is part of the NHS and its role is to provide patients, health professionals and the public with guidance on current best practice.

(gmcg)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 March 2007
'Postcode lottery' remains in NHS dental care
There are "huge regional variations" in NHS dental care in England, consumer organisation Which? has warned in new research. The survey of 466 dentistry practices - which comes a year after the start of new NHS dentists' contract in England - found that just over a third (36%) are taking on any new NHS patients.
23 September 2004
NHS recruitment drive to focus on over 50s
A new nationwide drive to recruit NHS staff, which will focus for the first time on the over 50s, has been was launched today. NHS Job Shop Day comprises of 220 events taking place around the country on or around 23 September. Around 150 Jobcentres across England will also be holding special NHS events on 23 September as part of NHS Job Shop Day.
04 January 2005
Five further health trusts make foundation grade
Following approval by the independent regulatory body, five Trusts have been granted Foundation Trust status.
24 March 2011
Patients Getting Improved NHS Care
A round-up of NHS quality and financial performance between October and December 2010 has been published by the Department of Health today.
13 October 2003
High Street set to offer NHS hearing aids
NHS hearing aids are set to be made available – free of charge to NHS patients – on the High Street, under plans announced today by the department of health.