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  • FIRST POST
    • hidden_sacrifice
    • By hidden_sacrifice 19th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
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    hidden_sacrifice
    Right to NHS treatment 18 weeks (fertility clinic)
    • #1
    • 19th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    Right to NHS treatment 18 weeks (fertility clinic) 19th Mar 17 at 7:48 PM
    Apologies if this is in the wrong section.

    I was referred to the fertility clinic early December and had my first consultation last week where we were basically told that it was a waste of time as the GP should have requested blood tests before referring and I will now have to wait until June until we can go back for treatment. I will have had my blood tests done by the end of April but my DH SA appointment is in May (which is still 20 weeks after!) That will make it 26 weeks from referral until treatment simply due to the GP not ordering bloods (I even asked him if I needed them doing as I have a few friends who have recently had fertility treatment and he said no).

    Does anyone know where I stand here? The only advice I've been given is that I can make a complaint but as it is my right as an NHS patient to be treated within 18 weeks and the fact that the reason I won't be is due to the GP's error and combined with the upset and unnecessary stress, I don't think a complaint quite cuts it. Shouldn't they be making arrangements for my DH appointment to be earlier (even if it has to be private) or bringing forward our next appointment rather than waiting until June?
Page 1
    • tensandunits
    • By tensandunits 19th Mar 17, 8:10 PM
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    tensandunits
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:10 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:10 PM
    Shouldn't they be making arrangements for my DH appointment to be earlier (even if it has to be private) or bringing forward our next appointment rather than waiting until June?
    Originally posted by hidden_sacrifice
    If you go private you could get an appointment much more quickly.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 19th Mar 17, 8:21 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:21 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:21 PM
    I think the OP meant that the blood tests are done privately but paid for by the NHS.

    Call me cynical but I've always thought this treatment within 18 weeks is a red herring - I'm sure many trusts take your first appointment with the consultant as treatment so I wouldn't be surprised if they say you've had your first appointment even if it was a waste of time.

    As to whether you want to take it further I suppose it depends on how much energy you want to spend on fighting to get an earlier appointment. Personally, as IVF is an emotional rollercoaster on a good day anyway, it might be an idea to let the GP muck up drop
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


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    • tensandunits
    • By tensandunits 19th Mar 17, 8:29 PM
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    tensandunits
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:29 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:29 PM
    I think the OP meant that the blood tests are done privately but paid for by the NHS.
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    Why would the NHS pay for private blood tests? Dealing with the NHS is a stress-inducing nightmare at the best of times, but that's what you get if you want free (or paid for by the state) treatment.
    • emmatthews
    • By emmatthews 19th Mar 17, 8:40 PM
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    emmatthews
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:40 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:40 PM
    I understand why you're frustrated and disappointed, but your appointment is going to be 8 weeks outside of the 18 weeks. In the grand scheme of fertility and possibly IVF this is not a huge amount of time.

    In your shoes I would probably ask if they could call me if there were any cancellations prior to your rescheduled appointment. Your Doctor made a mistake, I'm sure it wasn't deliberate.
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 19th Mar 17, 8:57 PM
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    LilElvis
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:57 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:57 PM
    Ask your doctor if there is any chance of an earlier appointment for your husband, though I can't see that he even needs one. My husband was given a sample pot and just had to make sure that he took it to the hospital within a certain timeframe from the time it was "produced" so that it would be viable.

    Even when you do go back to the hospital you won't be starting treatment it will be the start of investigations. It might be worth checking whether your CCG will even fund IVF treatment, and whether you are eligible, if that is what you ultimately need, so that you can be prepared. Also worth checking other criteria as most CCGs will not treat a couple if either smoke or has a bmi greater than 30 - things that can be addressed now to minimise any delay to treatment further down the line.
    • hidden_sacrifice
    • By hidden_sacrifice 19th Mar 17, 9:42 PM
    • 71 Posts
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    hidden_sacrifice
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:42 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:42 PM
    Thanks for your responses. With regards to the private tests - the NHS policy states that where treatment cannot be given within 18 weeks, they have an obligation to let you know and if possible, use private resources to try and keep within the time frame.

    With regards to waiting time and further investigations - I have been diagnosed with PCOS and the consultant says as long as the SA comes back as normal, I'll be able to start either clomid or metformin (no IVF yet). They just need the blood tests to confirm whether or not my progesterone is low or if I'm insulin resistant. So in my eyes, the quicker they analyse DH sample (which has to be done in May at the moment as they send an appointment and you can't produce and hand it in earlier) and if they can bring forward our consultation, the quicker I can start treatment. I already waited for nearly a year for a diagnosis and finally thought I could start getting excited about TTC which is why I was so gutted that one mistake by the doctors has cost me another 3 months in limbo (because I don't ovulate so can't TTC in between).
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 19th Mar 17, 10:53 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 10:53 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 10:53 PM
    I can understand why it's frustrating for you but I think Emmatthews as well as LilElvis' advice is spot on, and I'd pay particular attention to do you or your partner smoke and if either of you are overweight as I know some health authorities set a bmi limit.

    easier said than done I know but try not to get worked up about this as getting stressed won't help the process
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    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 20th Mar 17, 8:02 AM
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    FBaby
    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 8:02 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 8:02 AM
    The problem with blood tests in relation to fertility is that they need to be taken a specific time in the cycle, hence why it can push the timescales.

    You are right though, your GP should have ordered these before referring you, so it is his error but I'm not sure complaining will get you anything else than an apology. As already suggested though, you could ask to be contacted if there's a cancellation, it happens quite often. You could also ask the consultant via his secretary if they would agree to prescribe clomid before the result of the SA. They might agree and then call you back if there are issues with the result.

    Whether they do or not might depend on your age. When you are desperate to TTC, one month waiting feels like a year, but in the scale of things, it won't make much of a difference so don't get stressed over it.
    • Flugelhorn
    • By Flugelhorn 20th Mar 17, 8:15 AM
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    Flugelhorn
    Re blood tests - depends what the local agreement is - some places won't even accept the referral unless the blood tests have been done so you wouldn't have got an appointment.
    Other places they are all arranged by the hospital.
    I think you may find that the "18 week clock" at the first appointment in this field simply because much of it can't be done in that time frame - sometimes there need to be other investigations / targetted weight loss / further funding requests etc etc
    • cyantist
    • By cyantist 20th Mar 17, 12:02 PM
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    cyantist
    I'm not sure how the 18 weeks fits for fertility treatment. Our CCG website specifies that the 18 weeks is from first attending clinic to actually getting treatment. So they may class the 18 weeks as starting from your recent consultant appointment. I don't see any way that from GP referral to actual treatment would be regularly achieved within 18 weeks.
    Unfortunately with fertility treatment there seems to be delays quite often, and in the grand scheme of things 3 months is not a lot.
    • poppy10
    • By poppy10 20th Mar 17, 5:26 PM
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    poppy10
    That will make it 26 weeks from referral until treatment simply due to the GP not ordering bloods
    Originally posted by hidden_sacrifice
    The problem is, the hospital will count the original referral as being rejected as the necessary accompanying information was not provided. So they will ask the GP for a new referral after the bloods are done, which will reset the clock
    Signature changed by MSE ForumTeam
    • nimbo
    • By nimbo 20th Mar 17, 9:44 PM
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    nimbo
    The 18 weeks should be up to first meaning full treatment. However the clock can be stopped. So needing missed bloods - loosing weight. Quitting smoking etc can all stop the clock on the 18 week wait.

    It is frustrating. It it probably won't be the last 'slow stage' that you have on this journey. It is probably trying to get Used to letting frustrations wash over you now.

    Good luck on the rest of the rollercoaster.

    Stashbuster - 2014 98/100 - 2015 175/200 - 2016 501 / 500 2017 - 3 / 500
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 20th Mar 17, 10:17 PM
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    I sympathise, because it's easy to panic when you feel time could be short and you want to be pregnant Right Now - but would also gently remind you that a lot of Trusts/Commissioning Groups are withdrawing funding for fertility treatments at present or restricting them to just one try. You are still fortunate enough to get a referral and appointment in the first place for free treatment (well, other than prescriptions you get from the pharmacist).

    Good luck but, please, try and not panic/get angry about a few weeks here and there.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

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    Originally posted by colinw
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 20th Mar 17, 11:13 PM
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    Kim kim
    Why would the NHS pay for private blood tests? Dealing with the NHS is a stress-inducing nightmare at the best of times, but that's what you get if you want free (or paid for by the state) treatment.
    Originally posted by tensandunits
    I don't know about you but I pay into the NHS every month & have done for a long time, it's not free & the state aren't paying for me.
    • bap98189
    • By bap98189 21st Mar 17, 12:52 PM
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    bap98189
    I don't know about you but I pay into the NHS every month & have done for a long time, it's not free & the state aren't paying for me.
    Originally posted by Kim kim
    Yes but fertility treatment isn't going to be high up on the list of priorities when it comes to funding. Being unable to conceive isn't life-threatening. Personally, in these times of limited NHS funds, I don't think it should be funded at all, but I appreciate others opinions may differ.
    • DinkyLass
    • By DinkyLass 21st Mar 17, 2:02 PM
    • 45 Posts
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    DinkyLass
    The whole fertility journey is a long and frustrating one.


    My own personal journey with PCOS (partnered with endometriosis and my Husband having a low count) has spanned over a number of years and ended with me and my Husband walking away from the whole thing and embracing a life without children (not as scary as it sounds!).


    The best advice I can give is don't let the consultants fob you off, but at the same time, stay calm and make sure you're looking after yourself emotionally and physically as it will make things easier. Look into natural remedies to try and stimulate OV if that's an option....I found losing weight and doing more exercise took my cycles from non-existent, to 'every now and again' if I was lucky! Oh, and use online support forums, they can be a god-send when you're struggling.
    Most of all though, just be there for each other and make the most of the time you do have when it's just the two of you.


    Good luck!

    Mortgage free in Feb 2028!
    • Monday114
    • By Monday114 21st Mar 17, 3:16 PM
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    Monday114
    In my experience GPs know very little about fertility treatment. Mine has referred me and I have an appointment for next month, but I already know from my own research that I am too old for the NHS to help me. I'm 39 and apparently treatment has to be started by your 40th birthday to qualify in Northern Ireland...and the waiting list is at least 12 months from your initial appointment. I just wish the doctor had told me this sooner as I first went a couple of years ago to discuss the issue.

    In addition, he told me that I couldn't be referred until my husband had the results of his sperm test...but I insisted on being referred and my husband got his Dr to refer him for tests at the same time...only for the hospital to also get a referral from the fertility clinic which has confused things and made the wait for the results even longer.

    I understand your frustration but I think this isn't going to be a quick process for either of us. Good luck!
    • tensandunits
    • By tensandunits 21st Mar 17, 4:23 PM
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    tensandunits
    I don't know about you but I pay into the NHS every month & have done for a long time, it's not free & the state aren't paying for me.
    Originally posted by Kim kim
    It's communal health insurance, administered by the state. We all pay in, we all take out. It clearly isn't working as well as they thought it would when they dreamed up the idea, but that's another discussion for another thread.
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 21st Mar 17, 7:43 PM
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    Kim kim
    Yes but fertility treatment isn't going to be high up on the list of priorities when it comes to funding. Being unable to conceive isn't life-threatening. Personally, in these times of limited NHS funds, I don't think it should be funded at all, but I appreciate others opinions may differ.
    Originally posted by bap98189
    I didn't mention priorities. I wouldn't class it as vital medical treatment either.
    But my point is the NHS is not free.
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