Does the IVF postcode lottery system affect the decision of UK patients?

by Chrysa Karakosta, updated on January 28, 2019


Does the IVF postcode lottery system affect the decision of UK patients?

Fertility treatments in many countries are funded by the national health system. In the UK, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the body making all recommendations about who should have access to IVF treatment on the NHS in England and Wales. But funding is based on the specific address (postcode) of the patient as different postcodes belong to different Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that are the clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for the local area.

The criteria set by NICE are not followed by many CCGs. This situation has become worse in the last few years as more than 90% are failing to offer patients the recommended three cycles of IVF therapy. Specifically, in England, the number of CCGs offering these three IVF cycles, to eligible women under 40, has halved in the last five years, leaving a mere 10% that abide by the national guidance.

In Scotland, the situation is a bit better, as all eligible patients can pursue on the NHS up to three full treatment cycles.

There is a huge campaign by many societies, networks and individuals in order to change the funding policies throughout the UK but until then many couples are forced to have private, high-costed treatment in the UK or explore their treatment options abroad.

At Newlife we have been treating International patients from the UK for many years. The main reasons for these couples travelling to Newlife IVF Greece for treatment are the following:

  • Seeking treatments not available or less available in the UK, like egg donation.
  • No waiting lists for any type of treatment.
  • Individualised treatment care offering high success rates.
  • Low-cost treatments of high quality compared to the UK private sector.

Newlife IVF Greece guarantees top quality services and a personalised approach of each patient’s treatment cycle by providing a personal touch on an every-day based communication and interaction of our International Department with all patients. This has given us the advantage of being privileged in having many dedicated past patients who spread the word of our clinic’s high standard.

Our medical team offers free full medical consultations in London on a regular basis or video medical consultations free of charge. If you are interested in getting further details or booking a free consultation session to meet our team, please proceed to reserve a slot via our respective website form.



Chrysa is the Lab co-Director at Newlife IVF Greece, in Thessaloniki Greece, from the beginning of 2010 and now heads the International Patient Department.
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