Campaigners’ joy as IVF postcode lottery set to end after five years – Gazette

CAMPAIGNERS who have called for an end to the IVF postcode lottery in north Essex say there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Emma Edey, 40, and husband Lee, 45, from Colchester, faced missing out on the opportunity to have a child because of where they lived.

Emma was born with Hirschsprung disease, which affects the bowel, and had to have a colostomy bag fitted.

She had surgery to reverse the problem when she was one but four years ago had to have a colostomy bag fitted again.

Over the years she has had three or four operations which have left scar tissue on her stomach.

Despite knowing they may face some difficulties the couple attempted to conceive naturally.

Emma started on the road to IVF in 2015, but was told the service was only running for one more month in north Essex.

However, she missed the deadline because a hormone level was fractionally too high so she was not put forward for treatment.

Emma said the worst part was knowing if they lived ten miles up the road they would get treatment for free.

She described the news as a glimmer of hope.

I was ecstatic, she said. Its been a long time coming and I have been fighting for so long against this crazy decision.

It will mean the world to us and many other couples who have had their lives turned upside down over the last five years.

No-one truly understands how we are feeling when told you cannot access IVF because of where you live.

Its destroying and heartbreaking watching everyone around you getting pregnant or having treatment up the road and you cannot.

Just to get that try would be amazing.

If we were not successful at least we can say we tried all we could.

Yes, it would hurt but we just want the same options as everyone else thats all we ever asked.

The little light at the end of this really long tunnel we are going through is just wonderful to see, a glimmer of hope for all of us struggling.

Emma now hopes other CCGs across the country will make a U-turn on their decision and end the postcode lottery.

Colchester MP Will Quince has campaigned for women to be allowed IVF in north east Essex since the service was withdrawn in 2015.

He said: I very much welcome this decision.

I knew following my meeting and correspondence with the chief executive he was receptive to the argument and thank him for listening.

It is an encouraging, positive step forward.

The decision to axe free IVF for most people in 2015 was taken in a bid to save money.

The CCG paid for 107 treatments from 2013-2014 at a cost of 386,000.

Patients who were undergoing medical treatment which would leave them infertile, such as cancer treatments, were still eligible for IVF.

NICE recommends women aged under 40 should be offered three cycles of IVF treatment on the NHS if they have been trying for a baby for two years or have not been able to get pregnant after 12 cycles of artificial insemination.

Elsewhere in Essex, Basildon and Brentwood CCG and Mid Essex CCG offer no IVF treatment. Castle Point still offers two cycles and Southend now offers one cycle.

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Campaigners' joy as IVF postcode lottery set to end after five years - Gazette

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