HEALTH organisations have failed to offer would-be-mothers the recommended three cycles of IVF treatment, new figures show.

East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are amongst nearly 90 per cent of health bodies which fail to meet national guidelines.

Both East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen CCGs offered two cycles of IVF treatment, according to data from campaign group Fertility Fairness.

The group has called on the government to intervene to address the ‘postcode’ lottery in IVF treatment services.

Sarah Norcross, from Fertility Fairness, said: ‘This National Fertility Awareness Week we are commemorating 40 years of IVF, 40 years of a life-changing technology pioneered in England.

“However, that achievement means nothing if only those who can afford private IVF benefit.

“The government should be ashamed that, after 40 years of IVF, it is your postcode and your pay packet, and not your medical need, which are the key determinants of whether you will be able to try IVF.”

Cathy Gardener, lead commissioner for Pennine Lancashire, which commissions health services across the county, said a review of assisted conception services is taking place across the area.

She said: “This review is being undertaken to ensure there is equity and fairness across the county and as such, these clinical policies are updated in line with the latest guidance and best practice.

“This means that no matter where you live in the Lancashire and South Cumbria area, the treatment offered to you will be the same.

“All the draft policies will be subject to engagement with the public and clinicians and their views will be taken into account before any changes, if needed, are made.”

An NHS England spokesman, said: “Ultimately these are legally decisions for CCGs, who are under an obligation to balance the various competing demands on the NHS locally while living within the budget parliament has allocated.”

The figures from Fertility Fairness are based on freedom of information requests sent to CCGs across England, of which all 208 replied.

Only 24 of the 208 CCGs in England met national guidelines and seven offered no treatment at all.

While the group found the number of CCGs meeting the guidelines has fallen from 24 per cent of CCGs in 2013 to just 12 per cent in 2017.

Under guidelines issued in 2004 by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), women under 40 who have failed to get pregnant after two years of trying should be offered three full cycles of IVF on the NHS.