Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending ‘The Politics of Infertility’ at the Houses of Parliament. Now, for someone who lived in the heart of London for 23 years of their life, it’s pretty embarrassing for me to say that I have never even been close to the Houses of Parliament 🙈 From the moment I exited Westminster station, my tourist hat came on! I was in awe with the amazing architecture and rich history that surrounded me.
Once we were through the tight security, and walked pass endless sculptures, statues and paintings we arrived at room 12. I was not expecting a mini Houses of Commons at all! It was grand, beautiful and regal. We heard from the panel and then the floor was opened to those of us in attendance.
Guys… I found my voice! Not that it was lost but, I just had such an urge to speak. I believe that God has definitely called me to share my fertility experience to spread awareness and deliver a message of encouragement and expectancy people. There was no way I was going to pass on the opportunity to speak in front of such an audience 🙂
It was a great evening with many eye-opening statistics, facts and views, and once finished, I had the opportunity to network with new people. Once again, watch this space for more information and what 9MonthsandWaiting will be doing in the future 🙂
Here are some key points I took way (I seem to have forgotten how to take short but detailed notes so, I hope this will suffice)
Peter Thompson – HFEA (Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority)
- There is no direct regulation on prices and services of IVF
- Only 12% of CCG’s are offering 3 free full cycles of IVF as recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)
- There is more than enough money to continue with the funding of IVF treatment- the money is just not being spent wisely.
- New regulations should be in place to see whether they can improve the quality of IVF treatment
- Only funding of a fresh cycle is poor use of NHS money
- The success rate for the first cycle of IVF for an under 36 year old is 27%
- The needs to be a benchmark price for IVF – Clinics are charging different prices and this can be very confusing to future patients.
- Improved commissioning guidance
Geeta Nargund – Director Create Fertility Clinics
- The world now defines infertility as a disease
- Up to 50% of couples now require IVF
- There needs to be a national price for IVF treatment so that patients are treated fairly.
- If we were to compare with other European countries, IVF need not be as expensive as it currently is
- Questions need to be asked as to how NHS are spending their money because there is enough funds in the existing fertility budget to continue with treatment
- There should be an introduction of a National eligibility criteria
Richard clothier – Patient campaigner
- If treatment is removed, the NHS run the risk of sending people abroad to seek treatment. This is likely to result in multiple births which, will cost the NHS more money in the long run
- People being forced to travel overseas for treatment are in effect taking money away from the UK
- The emotional and mental state of those going through fertility challenges needs to be taken more seriously
Sarah Norcross – Fertility fairness
- There are 208 CCG’s in England and only 12% are complying with the NICE guidelines
- Infertility does’t discriminate, so why do CCG’s?
- People need to write more personal letters to MP’s to get their voices heard.
- This issue is to do with peoples’ lives, not names on a spreadsheet
- Fertility treatment does not save lives, it’s life changing
- A laparoscopy cots the same amount as a single IVF cycle
Rebecca Manson Jones – Founding member and candidate for Women’s Equality Party
Rebecca spoke honestly about her fertility journey and expressed the importance of mental health support. She also highlighted that the men are quite often forgotten and the level of care offered to them is very different from that offered to a woman.
Paula Sherriff – MP, Shadow minister for women and equalities
- Infertility is a disease and not a lifestyle choice – you don’t choose it
- Freedom of information request to local CCG’s to see how they are spending money
- Write to your local MP in your own words. A heartfelt story is much better than a template
- There needs to be a clear defining process for fertility treatment
That’s it from me!
Be Encouraged, Be Expectant