Date: Thu 16th December 2010

I have recently organised the creation of an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) which is made up of MPs and Lords from all sides of the Houses of Parliament. In the absence of an In-Vitro Fertilisation group I decided that I should set up and an APPG that caters for couples who suffer from infertility. The group will take evidence from interested parties and act on these findings and considerations when voting in Parliament or amending legislation.It will also act as a mouthpiece whenever this issue is raised and will apply pressure on the Department of Health and Local Primary Care Trusts where needed.

There is no voice for infertile couples within Parliament and I hope to have the Secretary of State for Health at our inaugural meeting.  This is an important issue as the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, the body that oversees the purchase of treatments, has stated that infertile couples should have three courses of treatment but in some areas it is a post code lottery.  West Kent PCT has decreed that to save money they are suspending thefunding of such treatment.

IVF treatment was invented in this country with Robert Edwards, its inventor, who was recently awarded the Nobel Prize. It is a highly emotional and invasively physical time for couples, whether you are rich or poor.  Each treatment can cost up to £5,000 so it is not something that all childless couples can afford so I intend speaking up on their behalf and will keep you informed of our progress.