Assisted Conception

Assisted Conception

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24 February 2023

In March 2023, we asked people for their views and comments on a proposed interim policy for assisted conception. This public involvement ran for three weeks, from 1 to 23 March, and included a survey and two online events.

Below you can read about why we have proposed an interim (temporary) policy for assisted conception and view the documents that were available during the involvement, including the draft policy document. Below you can also read the full report of findings from the involvement and a summary report.

Assisted conception involvement – March 2023

The background to the interim policy is that the current criteria for accessing assisted conception services are not the same across the whole of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. We want to align the policies (make them the same) across our area.

We started this work in 2020, as part of a bigger programme called Clinical Policy Alignment (previously called Difficult Decisions)While we were working on our recommendations, the Women’s Health Strategy for England (WHS) was released. This is a 10-year strategy, which will include a review of fertility services across England. We also expect updated NICE guidance on fertility treatments at the end of 2024.

As we will not know the results of these reviews for some time, we decided to develop an interim policy for assisted conception. The interim policy will make the criteria for accessing assisted conception services the same, wherever you live within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. This will give fairer access to services across our geographical area.

Later, when the wider reviews of fertility services and treatments have taken place, we will look at any updated guidance that comes out. We will then see whether our interim policy needs to be changed in any way.

What is our draft interim policy?

You can read about the draft interim policy in these documents, which were made available during the involvement:

How were people able to get involved?

A key part of the involvement was the survey, which was available online on these involvement webpages. An accessible (easy read) version of the survey was also available.

There were two online events, held on 15 and 20 March.

Involvement findings

You can read the full report of findings from the involvement, or the summary report.

Our clinicians and managers will review the full report and consider the feedback while they work to finalise the interim policy. The policy will then go through the ICB’s robust, established governance process before a decision is made. We will add updates to this page, so please check back.