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 Clinical Commissioning Group yesterday confirmed that it will not go ahead with plans to reduce the age limit for women seeking IVF treatment.

Councillor Gill Kirk (Lockleaze), speaking following the meeting on behalf of the Bristol Labour Group, said:

“We welcome that the CCG has stepped back from changes which would have seen reduced access to fertility treatment for women aged 35 and older, and also support their u-turns on new age limits on prospective fathers and same sex partners’ and the proposed ineligibility of people with a living child.

We are still waiting to hear whether proposed changes to breast cancer reconstruction surgery eligibility will go ahead but hope that the CCG will see sense on this too.

Along with all of Bristol’s MPs, we continue to oppose the £66 million of Tory Government cuts after Bristol’s local NHS has been forced to cover deficits in neighbouring South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.”

Notes to Editors

Yesterday’s meeting of Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group amended previous proposals after responses from a public consultation which was extended twice at the behest of Bristol Labour’s women councillors to allow Bristolians to have their say.

84% of respondents 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. [Source: Bristol CCG]

Bristol Labour wrote to the 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]

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