These pages and the documents on this page explain why we want to change our policies on how we support and treat people who need NHS help to try to have a baby, also known as fertility treatment.
There are many treatments that can help you try to get pregnant, some of which are paid for by the NHS. We’ve set out which treatments we think that the NHS in north east London should fund and who should be able to get this treatment.
Why do we want to update the fertility policy?
We want to make it so that wherever you live in north east London you are able to have the same fertility treatment, such as IVF – this is not currently the case. At the moment there are five different fertility policies in north east London, as they were created when there were separate NHS organisations in the area. We also want to make our policy fairer and closer to the latest national guidelines and best practice. It also recognises the variety of fertility situations and needs today.
What does our proposed new policy cover?
We have used the latest national guidance, treatment techniques, research and best practice to develop our proposed new policy. Clinicians, including GPs and fertility experts, have also helped to shape it.
Our proposed new policy covers a number of treatments and eligibility criteria, as well as fertility preservation. The main areas where we are proposing changes to the current fertility policies are:
- Number of IVF cycles the NHS will fund depending on the age of the woman or person trying to get pregnant. IVF is a treatment where eggs are collected and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory to create embryos. These are then put into the womb to try to grow and develop.
- Funding of intrauterine insemination (IUI) for certain people. IUI is a type of artificial insemination when the better-quality sperm are separated out and this sperm is then injected directly into the womb.
- Funding of treatment to help you try to get pregnant using donor eggs/sperm based on certain criteria.
- The length of time the NHS funds the storage of eggs, embryos or sperm for people who need to have a treatment or have a condition which might make them infertile in the future, also called fertility preservation.
- Ovarian reserve criteria. This is the number and quality of eggs remaining in the ovaries which is measured by tests to predict how many eggs might be produced during IVF.
The proposed new policy is for both individuals and couples with a fertility problem regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status, and is intended to apply to people who live in Barking and Dagenham, City of London, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest.
On 19 July 2022 the government announced a new Women’s Health Strategy, which sets out ambitions for improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls in England over the next 10 years. We welcome the ambitions set out in the strategy around NHS help to try and get pregnant. This includes a national approach which addresses the current variation in accessing fertility treatment depending on where you live in the country; more equal access for female same-sex couples; and ending non-clinical eligibility criteria. We eagerly await more detail on this which will come from NHS England who will be updating their commissioning guidance to reflect the strategy, so we can consider these changes and the implications for our proposed fertility policy for north east London.
Find out more and have your say by 22 August 2022
Please read our engagement document or simplified easy read version, which explains more about fertility treatment and what in our proposed new policy is new or different from the existing fertility policies. This includes who is able to access what free NHS treatment to help you try to get pregnant if you have fertility problems.
We want to hear what you think of our proposed new policy. Your feedback will help us make access to treatment the same wherever you live in north east London, and for treatment to be closer to the latest national guidelines, research and best practice.
We are particularly interested in hearing from people who have experienced fertility problems, and who are from under-represented groups that are less likely to have their voices heard by decision-makers – this includes Black and minority ethnic people and the LGBTQ+ community.
Public event dates
You can also attend one of the below events to find out more and ask any questions.
- Monday 18 July, 6-7.30pm
- Wednesday 20 July, 6-7.30pm
- Friday 29 July, 12-1.30pm
- Wednesday 3 August, 6-7.30pm
Please note, the content of each session will be the same and the presentation will be recorded if you are unable to attend.
Sign up to attend a session by clicking this link. Please note, you will be emailed a joining link ahead of your chosen session
For more information, including how to request these documents as a hard copy or in large print, easy read or a different format or language:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 020 3688 1216
- Write to Freepost NHS North East London, free of charge.
Please share this widely – we want to hear from as many people as possible.
- Engagement document
- Summary engagement document
- Simplified easy guide engagement document
- Proposed fertility policy
- Table of proposed changes
- Online survey link
- Survey document
- Health Inequality and Equality Impact Assessment
- Poster (blue version)
- Poster (white version)
Dr Anju Gupta, local GP and NHS North East London Clinical Lead, and Alison Glynn, Head of Commissioning and Contract Management, talk through the reasons why we are proposing changes to local NHS help to try and have a baby. This video was recorded from a virtual public information session that took place on 20 July 2022.
To note, in the video we refer to ‘NEL ICB’ – this is North East London Integrated Care Board, the statutory name of the new NHS organisation in north east London that replaced the North East London Clinical Commissioning Group on 1 July 2022, and who is responsible for developing the proposed policy.