A WOMAN desperate to become a mother has been refused IVF treatment on the NHS because her husband already has a son from a previous relationship.
Sarah Parsons, 37, whose daughter Maggie was stillborn at 39 weeks and five days in 2015, said seeing what might be her last chance to have a child rebuffed has left her distraught.
A JustGiving page has now been set up by Mrs Parsons’ sister, Elizabeth Grieve, to help her and husband Mark, 40, raise £8,000 for private treatment.
The couple, of Blackburn, Lancashire, had pinned their last hopes for a child together on IVF — a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body.
But NHS group Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria said Mr Parsons’ son Oliver, 19, made them ineligible.
Mrs Parsons said: ‘Being told we couldn’t have the treatment on the NHS was really upsetting.
‘It’s a bit of a postcode lottery because the criteria says the patients, ie Mark, has a child from a previous relationship, so we cannot have the treatment.
‘However the criteria is different in other areas. I don’t see why the conditions include this sort of detail and are not just based around my health or condition. There weren’t any circumstances taken into account, it was a straight “no”.’
Since Maggie was stillborn, the couple have raised thousands of pounds to buy cold cots for funeral directors and provide a quiet room at the gynaecology and breast cancer care ward at Burnley General Hospital, where she was born.
Dr Andy Curran, medical director for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria said that a revised policy meant Clinical Commissioning Groups adopt the same approach to IVF.
‘The revised policy reflects the majority position where the service is only offered to couples where both partners are childless,’ he said.