Cancer patients left without NHS fertility service support

The NHS should fully fund fertility services for patients with cancer after survey results revealed that a fifth of PCTs in England do not fund sperm storage for cancer patients and only half fund embryo storage.

The call comes from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists which have released a joint report into fertility services.

NICE guidance, issued in 2004, recommends universal access to sperm, egg and embryo storage for cancer patients. But 19 per cent of PCTs do not fund sperm storage, according to a Cancerbackup survey.

Forty per cent of PCTs in the South West of England and 38 per cent in London said they did not fund sperm storage.

The majority of PCTs, 80 per cent, in the South East, North West and Eastern England did provide sperm storage.

Only 50 per cent of all PCTs said that they funded embryo storage with none in the South West paying for the service.

Royal colleges report, live links at http://www.healthcarerepublic.com

Fertility services

19% of PCTs do not fund sperm storage for cancer patients

Source: Cancerbackup.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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