To all friends,
Please see below a protest letter about the threatened closure of the fertility clinic at St Mary’s hospital in Manchester. If you’d like to help the campaign to stop this closure, contact us at this page.
Subject: Threat to Internationally renowned IVF centre in Greater Manchester and cuts and privatisation of IVF service in Greater Manchester
Dear Mr Burnham,
I am writing to you as a Greater Manchester resident and a member of Manchester KONP (Keep Our National Health Service Public)and Stockport NHSWatch to draw to your attention to an article in the online Guardian dated 19.4.20 (attached Link below) which highlights the threatened closure of the fertility clinic at the internationally renowned department of reproductive medicine at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester. As you can see from this article this proposal poses a serious threat to the mental and physical welfare of the women of Greater Manchester and the North West of England and follows a long-term trend of undervaluing the work of fertility treatment for families in the UK.
This proposal follows an ongoing history in cuts to IVF services across the UK which have resulted in a flagrant disregard of NICE guidelines and caused additional stress and trauma to couples with infertility problems. It has also resulted in would be parents being forced to pay high fees in the private sector, and increased health risks to mothers and babies through birth complications and higher incidence of premature and multiple births. This in turn has increased costs in mental health problems and remedial support and help from already over stretched NHS services. See attached a paper from the HFE. Sadly Greater Manchester has not been immune from this trend with all the Clinical commissioning groups in greater Manchester failing to provide a level of service which meets NICE guidance and seeking to reduce the levels of service further.
Our local group in Stockport mounted a successful campaign against our CCG’s proposal to cut the provision of IVF treatments from its current level of 2 cycles to 1 cycle. ( NICE guidance is a minimum of 3) The Guardian article raises serious concerns for the national standards and levels of IVF provision in this country and there is a major concern this potentially serious cut in service provisions is being driven through under the radar while the public and protest groups that would normally oppose such cuts are understandably distracted by this governments disastrous mishandling of the Covid 19 epidemic.
I am therefore writing to you as a previous Labour Health Secretary, and as a person with the primary role and powers of promoting the health and welfare of the citizens of Greater Manchester, to use the influence of your political office and your influential links with the Greater Manchester health and Social Partnership, Clinical commissioning groups across Greater Manchester, Labour MPs , Metro Borough Council Mayors and Councillors , and members of the Labour party and the trade union movement to stop this short sighted proposals which will prove extremely harmful to vulnerable women, would be parents, and future citizens of Greater Manchester
Yours sincerely,
Phil Welldrake
Stockport NHSWatch, Stockport United Against Austerity, & Manchester KONP