Bristol's IVF postcode lottery - the great debate
Press release issued: 26 April 2004
Leading experts including broadcaster Professor Lord Robert Winston will debate controversial issues over IVF and infertility treatment - including Bristol's 'postcode lottery' lack of NHS IVF treatment - in Bristol on April 28.
Leading experts including broadcaster Professor Lord Robert Winston will debate controversial issues over IVF and infertility treatment – including Bristol’s ‘postcode lottery’ lack of NHS IVF treatment - in Bristol on Wednesday April 28.
Professor Winston, Professor of Fertility Studies, Imperial College School of Medicine, is presenter of internationally acclaimed TV series including The Human Body.
He will join experts from Bristol University’s Centre for Reproductive Medicine, the Progress educational trust and the At-Bristol science centre for Bristol’s biggest-ever debate on infertility treatment and fertility issues.
The debate at the IMAX cinema, Harbourside follows the recent publication of guidelines on NHS infertility services by the NHS guidance body NICE – the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
This highlights the ‘postcode lottery’ affecting infertile couples seeking IVF on the NHS – Bristol and the South West has the lowest number of treatments available in the country.
Health secretary John Read has called for a better deal for infertile couples and wants to see equal provision of IVF services on the NHS across England. To reach the European average, the NHS will have to almost double the overall number of treatments it offers, with far higher increases in postcode lottery-hit areas like Bristol and the South West.
Bristol’s Centre for Reproduction is internationally renowned for clinical excellence and works with the NHS to support reproductive medicine services in the Bristol area. However, because of the lack of NHS funding, the Centre’s IVF services are private and it has campaigned for years for a better deal for couples on the NHS.
The public debate at 7.30 pm on Wednesday April 28 will examine the funding problems of increasing NHS services. It will also cover complex ethical issues over IVF. Tickets are £4 or £3 for concessions. For ticket information, telephone 0845 345 1235.
Comment: Public awareness of infertility treatment and views on NHS provision, 10 July 2003
Julian Jenkins, Clinical Director of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine