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NHS, Self funding and Private IVF


There are multiple ways of IVF treatment funding. These can be divided into NHS funding, self-funding option and the private funding option. There seems to be a huge amount of confusion about how NHS funding can be obtained and which couples can have NHS funding. IVF funding on the NHS is available in about 70% of the boroughs of England and this varies between region to region. NHS funding is often based on a strict criteria and is available from different boroughs who lay different rules. Thus, it is important to contact the local borough which will be able to tell you about the number of NHS cycles as well as the funding criteria.


Self-funded treatment is a unique concept on the NHS where women or couples can pay the NHS price for IVF treatment. This is not a private treatment and is often managed within the NHS appointment system. This should not be considered for couples or women who are aiming to have a completely private treatment looking for personalised care.


Private treatment, again, are of two types. One is satellite private treatment. This is where investigations and ultrasound scans are carried out by a selected centre while the egg collection and the embryo transfer or the procedures of IVF are done at a different centre by different doctors. Thus, two different clinics are involved in the treatment of the couple. One of the major drawbacks is that the clinic which is named as the licensed clinic where the fertility procedure takes place do not personally know the patient who is being treated and, thus, the personalised care is very limited.

Private treatments without satellite are those where all treatment is carried out by the same centre. These are often without a waiting list and can be done, again, in two different ways. One, personalised one to one care and this is offered at a very few centres but the same doctor will carry out all the procedures right from the start to the finish. Thus, offering a complete one to one private care. The second is where the treatment is done at a private centre, different doctors within the centre would be offering the treatment and, although the treatment is private, it is not personalised. It is important that women or couples decide how they wish to follow treatment and do adequate research before they proceed with their treatment. It is also important that at the first appointment to ask the specific questions regarding funding and regarding the type of care before they proceed for treatment.

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