This site is intended for health professionals only

Basildon and Brentwood CCG to scrap sterilisation services

11 August 2016

Share this article

Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is proposing to cut funding from sterilisation services for men and women.

Faced with a deficit of £14 million, the CCG is proposing to decommission a raft of services, including in-vitro fertilisation and sterilisation.

The move to stop offering surgical male and female sterilisations in Basildon and Brentwood comes a year after the CCG imposed a limit on the number vasectomy referrals GPs were allowed to write.

In its service restriction policy review, the CCG says local authorities have a statutory obligation to provide advice and access to a broad range of contraceptive substances.

The review goes on to say that “vasectomy and female sterilisation services are considered to be one of many forms of contraception and are deemed to have no or limited clinical value.”

Commenting on the proposed changes John Leslie, the CCG’s accountable officer, said: “We are making long-term changes to the way we deliver health services but it is very important that we get on top of our current financial challenges.

“We have a legal duty to live within our means but we are facing a growing gap between how much we receive for local health services each year and how much it is costing.

“This matters because if we don’t take measures to bring our finances under control, our deficit will continue to grow and we will end up having to make reductions in a greater range of services than we are currently proposing.”

He added: “We believe these proposed measures represent a way to help us make important savings while having the lowest possible impact on patient care.

“We do recognise however that some people will be more affected than others and we are keen to listen to the impact these proposals may have before we make any decisions on how to proceed.”

The CCG will also no longer fund in-vitro fertilisation, which a fertility awareness campaign has called “cruel”.

Susan Seenan, co-chair of Fertility Fairness, said the campaign is “appalled” at the proposition.

Other cuts proposed by Basildon and Brentwood CCG includes e-cigarette and gluten-free food prescribing.