South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats have launched a petition calling upon the Conservative Government to increase funding for our overstretched NHS. This comes after the news that local NHS managers are having to consider restricting IVF eligibility to women aged 30-35, in order to help close the local NHS funding gap of £80 million a year.
Lib Dem Prospective MP for Thornbury & Yate, Claire Young said: “This is just the latest example of our local NHS being chronically overstretched. The reality is that more cuts of this kind will soon be on the way unless the Conservatives end the black hole in the NHS budget. We’ve launched a petition calling on the Government to increase health funding so that NHS managers can concentrate on how to improve services rather than on how to cut them. Local residents can add their voice to the petition here: www.southgloslibdems.org.uk/ivf."
South Gloucestershire Lib Dem Heath Spokesperson, Sue Hope, said: “The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends up to three cycles of IVF for women up to the age of 40. Currently the NHS in South Gloucestershire only offers one cycle of IVF, and by reducing the upper age limit to 35, the service here will fall even further below NICE standards and the service offered by neighbouring areas like Gloucestershire and Wiltshire – leaving us with a postcode lottery.”
South Gloucestershire Lib Dem leader, Ruth Davis, said: “Many of us have friends and family who would not have conceived without IVF. By cutting the upper age of IVF eligibility to 35 it will effectively mean that women in South Gloucestershire wishing to have children will have to start trying to conceive by the age of 32 or 33, or risk finding themselves too old to be offered IVF, should they find they need it. At a time when many people feel forced to put off starting a family, due job instability and the difficulty of getting on the local housing ladder, this seems harsh and unfair.”
Claire Young said: “The Government have said they want local NHS managers to end the postcode lottery over IVF services and adhere to NICE standards. But it is sheer hypocrisy for the Conservatives to say this if they refuse to provide the NHS with adequate funding. The Liberal Democrats campaigned at the last General Election to increase income tax by a penny on the pound to help fund the NHS. I’d call upon all local residents to sign our petition, to make it clear to the Conservatives that we expect the NHS to be properly funded.”