In her ongoing campaign to end the ‘postcode lottery’ of IVF treatment, Dame Caroline Dinenage, Member of Parliament for Gosport, had a meeting with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid.
Caroline raised the issue of the inequality in accessing fertility treatment for women in Hampshire, compared to the rest of the country, in Health Questions earlier in the month, where she asked the Secretary of State to meet and discuss this further with her.
There are 106 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England, 6 of which limit the age of IVF treatment to 35 years of age, while the rest have capped the treatment at 40. Two of the six that limit the age to 35 are based in Hampshire - Portsmouth CCG and Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG.
In the meeting the Secretary of State assured Caroline that this unfairness will be addressed in the forthcoming Women’s Health Strategy for England. The Women’s Health Strategy is a piece of work which Caroline started when she was a Minster at the Department of Health and Social Care from 2018-2020. It will set out an ambitious and positive new agenda on women’s health, with women’s voices at the centre, following strong evidence of the need for greater focus on women’s health and to recognise and act on the inequalities.
Commenting Caroline said:
“I am delighted that the Secretary of State agreed to meet with me so swiftly to discuss this important issue. Access to IVF should not be a postcode lottery. I welcome the news that this injustice will finally be addressed in the Women’s Health Strategy, a piece of work I kicked off as Health Minister.”