HEALTH bosses have launched a consultation into the possibility of cutting the IVF offering in Bury.

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which buys health services for the borough, currently offers three funded cycles of IVF but is looking at cutting this number in a bid to save money.

Funded IVF services for people in Bury are in Manchester St Mary's Hospital and the Care Fertility clinic.

Dr. Jeff Schryer, chairman of NHS Bury CCG said: "The challenging financial situation we face means that maintaining the current level of provision of IVF would mean that we would need to consider other areas of healthcare in order to make the required savings."

Based on the 164 cycles paid for in the last two years Bury CCG's projected spend for 2018/19 is £321,610. The CCG has spent roughly £3,900 per cycle over the last two years but the cost can vary each time.

At the moment Bury CCG pays for three full cycles. One of just four CCGs in the country to do so in line with guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

A full cycle is where eggs are harvested, fertilised and the most viable embryo is implanted into the womb. Any other viable embryos are frozen. A cycle is complete when either a baby is born or all the viable embryos have been implanted.

Dr Schryer said: "We know that infertility is a very difficult issue for those affected by it. As part of a review of all services that we plan and purchase, we have been faced with some very difficult conversations including considering whether IVF services should continue to be funded as they currently are.

“Whilst the CCG governing body felt that other types of healthcare should take priority over the current level of funding for IVF services, it did not highlight a preferred option and instead wanted to consult on the full range of options with local people."

To take part in the consultation, which closes on Sunday, September 16, visit online.