Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups have confirmed the appointment of a new provider of assisted conception services, such as IVF, for local NHS patients.
The GP-led groups today (3 October) agreed to award the five-year contract to Bath Fertility following an open retendering exercise over the summer
The process of appointing a new provider began after the existing service provider, North Bristol NHS Trust, announced that it will stop providing licensed fertility services from 30 November 2017.
Bath Fertility will provide the same range of services under the new NHS contract and NHS services will transfer to the new provider on 1 December without any pause in provision.
Welcoming the decision, Bristol CCG Clinical Chair and local GP Dr Martin Jones said: “This is really good news for local NHS patients. As CCGs we are committed to funding high-quality assisted conception services and when our current provider North Bristol NHS Trust announced its decision to stop providing these services, we immediately began the process of appointing a new provider.
“Bath Fertility has an excellent track record of delivering specialist, licensed fertility services with higher than average success rates and with its service provision in Bath and Bristol the service will continue to be easily accessible for the vast majority of our population.
“We know that fertility treatment can be a stressful time for couples and I’m really pleased that the service for NHS patients will transfer seamlessly to Bath Fertility from the start of December without any disruption.
He added: “People will also be reassured to know that the service has been commissioned on the same basis as before, which means that all existing services, including IVF, will continue to be available to NHS patients.”
The contract will be formally awarded following a standard 10-day ‘cooling off’ period that ends on 16 October. Existing patients of the service will be contacted after this date to explain the change of provider and confirm arrangements for their ongoing treatment.
Tenders were invited from both NHS and independent sector providers in line with standard NHS practice and the reprocurement exercise began with an initial period of public engagement on the service specification. No NHS organisations tendered to provide the service.
All suitably qualified organisations were assessed by a panel that included independent clinical representatives and patient representatives. The recommendation to appoint Bath Fertility was made following rigorous assessment of each organisation’s record of performance and service quality, value for money and the accessibility of the proposed service for local NHS patients.
Please see our changes to local services page for more details about fertility services including frequently asked questions.