BFS response to NICE provisional guidance on fertility services

26th August 2003

The British Fertility Society (BFS) welcomes the draft NICE guidance on provision of assisted conception services. We recognise that this is a provisional guidance, and that there will be changes and refinements before the final guidance is issued to the NHS.

Professor Alison Murdoch, Chair of the BFS, comments ‘The British Fertility Society strongly supports the provision of fertility services on the NHS.

We believe that it is important to eliminate the current ‘postcode prescribing’ of fertility treatment and are delighted that this provisional guidance heralds the start of a national approach to helping infertile patients become parents.

NICE guidance will give the health service a formal structure for fertility treatment, allowing patients throughout England and Wales equal NHS access to assisted conception facilities.

If the main provisions in the draft guidance are retained in the final guidance we will be able to increase patients’ access to NHS fertility treatment, no matter where they live in England or Wales. This will be a very positive step forward and a long overdue recognition that the trauma suffered by couples unable to conceive is a legitimate call on NHS resources.

Note: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued provisional guidance on the provision of fertility services in England and Wales. These are draft guidelines, and may be changed before a final version is issued. We are issuing this statement in response to press enquiries.