Councillor Helen Godwin (Labour – Southmead), the Cabinet Member for Women, Children, and Families, said:
“We welcome revised plans on breast cancer reconstruction surgery announced this week, as we did last month when other previous proposals to cut access to IVF treatment were dropped. The Clinical Commissioning Group has seen sense once again.”
Councillor Gill Kirk (Labour – Lockleaze), the retired nurse who helped lead the Bristol Labour Group’s campaign, added:
“The Bristol Labour Group also welcomes the extended twelve week public consultation around breast cancer surgery proposals, and encourages all of our constituents to submit their views when it opens in January 2018.
Labour will continue to be a strong voice for women in Bristol, and hope that the New Year also sees the reversal of the Tory Government’s £66 million of cuts to Bristol’s NHS.”
Notes to Editor
The CCG initially proposed ‘not funding cosmetic surgery to the unaffected breast’. 92% of respondents opposed this policy; two-thirds were ‘concerned about the severe psychological impacts and emotional impacts on women and their families’.
Plans have since been revised in discussions with local clinicians to provide ‘surgery for the contralateral (unaffected) breast as a standard part of the pathway’. This would be in line with national best practice.
A four week consultation was recommended on the new proposal. Its length was then tripled in the meeting to twelve weeks. MPs and councillors, along with patient interest groups, charities, and providers, will be further consulted too.
Bristol Labour wrote to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) twice over the summer, including in a joint letter from more than a dozen of Bristol’s Labour women councillors.
[Source: Bristol Labour Group]
After heeding calls to extend a controversial consultation over the summer after Bristol Labour’s women councillors repeatedly raised concerns, Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire CCG last month confirmed that it will not go ahead with plans to reduce the age limit for women seeking IVF treatment to 35, the introduction of new age limits on prospective fathers and same sex partners, and the proposed ineligibility of people with a living child.
84% of respondents in this consultation were women. 90% of respondents disagreed with proposals to reduce the age limit for women seeking IVF treatment; 69% disagreed with plans to remove treatment eligibility from people whose partners have children from previous relationships. 45% of respondents live in Bristol.