SCOTLAND LEADS ON IVF TREATMENT
NHS Greater Glasgow is ahead of IVF waiting time targets by around six months, according to new ISD figures.
In the first quarter of this year, 189 new patients for potential treatment were seen at the Glasgow IVF centre, with all but one having waited less than six months. This is six months ahead of the Scottish Government target of 12 months.
Glasgow is one of four Scottish centres for IVF treatments with the others being located in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. The NHSGGC centre treats local Glasgow and Clyde patients as well as patients from referring Boards including Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran and Dumfries and Galloway.
Not only are patients being seen more quickly, pregnancy rates in Glasgow are higher than many centres in the UK. For the first three months of 2019 the Assisted Conception Service based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary achieved a clinical pregnancy rate of 41%, which is higher than the UK National average.
To support its IVF target, the Scottish Government has invested nearly £28 million over the past five financial years specifically to reduce and crucially to maintain waiting times. Further funding was made available during 2018/19 to also take account of the widening of access criteria. As a result, every single woman waiting for IVF across Scotland was screened within one year.
In addition, through the £850 million Waiting Times Improvement Plan, the SNP Government is committed to significantly improving the experience of patients waiting to be seen or treated on the NHS.
The initial investment of £27 million from the Plan was allocated to health boards earlier this year and the second phase will direct £70 million of investment into a range of services, including additional cataract procedures and knee and hip replacements, as well as increase the number of outpatient appointments and diagnostic procedures.
Commenting on these figures, Tom Arthur MSP said:
“Scotland continues to lead the way in the provision of NHS IVF treatment and the SNP Government is committed to making access to treatment on the NHS as fair as possible – giving more people the opportunity to conceive.
“The most recent NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde IVF figures are a testament to our hardworking healthcare professionals.
“Timely access to care is a critical aspect of delivering better health and care, and the SNP Government recognises that performance in key areas such as waiting times must improve.
“Through well-placed investment and by working closely with NHSGGC, the Waiting Times Improvement Plan will support further improvements and allow for stronger focus on potential areas of difficulty.”