Legal Expert Calls For Action On IVF Postcode Lottery

Group Of MPs Release New Report On Treatment


A patients’ rights specialist at Irwin Mitchell is calling on health authorities to address concerns that those seeking IVF treatment face a postcode lottery over the standards of care they receive.

According to a new report compiled by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Infertility, a number of NHS Trusts have introduced age restrictions on who is eligible for treatment – with the limits varying across England and Wales.

Five NHS Trusts were also found to offer no IVF treatment at all.

The group has suggested that the findings show more than seven in ten authorities are failing to meet National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on IVF, which states couples where the woman is between 23 to 39 are allowed three cycles of treatment.

Yogi Amin, a Partner and healthcare law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said the number of inconsistencies cannot be allowed to continue.

He explained: “We have seen the issue of postcode lotteries emerge time again when it comes to a range of treatments and services.

“A lack of clear direction on treatment such as IVF creates confusion and frustration for a huge number of people, and we have been instructed on numerous occasions by those who feel let down and want answers over why they get treated differently to patients who live a matter of miles away.

“The government and the NHS needs to recognise that a lottery of care is not beneficial to anyone and ensure a greater level of consistency can be embraced that will allow doctors to provide the best care to patients.

“It is vital that patients speak out on this issue and recognise that they have a chance to fight back through appeals and ultimately the judicial review system to get the justice they deserve. The law will strike down arbitrary decision making and support treatments that NHS doctors recommend for their patients.”