THOUSANDS of pounds are being raised for the parents of a stillborn baby after being denied IVF treatment on the NHS.

Sarah and Mark Parsons, who are trying for another child, are having to look for private treatment after being told the devastating news they did not fit the eligible criteria for an NHS procedure.

Mrs Parsons, 37, was told she couldn’t have the treatment because her husband, 40, had a 19-year-old son, Oliver, from a previous relationship.

The pair, from Blackburn, were crushed when their baby daughter, Maggie Pearl Parsons, was stillborn in 2015 at Burnley General Hospital.

Mrs Parsons’ sister, Elizabeth Grieve, has now set up a JustGiving page and is attempting to raise £8,000 for the treatment.

Mrs Parsons said this might be her last chance to have a child.

She 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’.”

IVF is a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body.

Since Maggie was stillborn, the couple have raised thousands of pounds to buy cold cots for funeral directors and form a quiet room at the gynaecology and breast cancer care ward at Burnley General Hospital.

Dr Andy Curran, medical director for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria said: “We cannot comment on the decisions made by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) outside our area.

“All CCGs must make decisions based on the resources available to them and the needs of their overall population, and this differs between CCGs.

“One of the aims of the revised policy is to ensure that in the future we have a consistent approach across the whole of Lancashire and South Cumbria.

“All clinical policies in Lancashire and South Cumbria are subject to five guiding principles.

“The treatments they cover must be appropriate, effective, cost-effective, ethical and affordable.

“The decision to offer assisted conception services to those patients who are childless is chiefly concerned with affordability.

“This is the case for most CCGs across the country which have adopted a similar approach.

“Only two of the eight CCGs in Lancashire and South Cumbria previously provided eligibility to couples where there were no living children from the current relationship.

“The remaining six CCGs only offered assisted conception services to couples where both partners were childless.

“The revised policy reflects the majority position where the service is only offered to couples where both partners are childless.”

To donate to Mrs Parsons’ page, visit and search ‘Sarah and Mark’.