Date Published: 7 July 2009

Fertility clinics to provide patients with costed treatment plans under fertility regulator's new Code of Practice

Fertility clinics will be expected to provide every patient with a costed treatment plan, under new guidelines for UK fertility clinics.

Costed treatment plans are just one of the changes set out in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s (HFEA) 8th Code of Practice for fertility clinics which comes into effect with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 on 1 October 2009. Costed treatment plans set out how much treatment will cost before it starts.

Plans will be updated if the costs change during the course of treatment.

Other key changes to the Code include:

  • a clear definition of supportive parenting to help them make a welfare of the child assessment before carrying out treatment
  • a cooling-off period for couples who have parted but who have embryos in storage allowing time for former partners to come to a reconciliation
  • bringing the HFEA’s long standing ban on sex selection for non-medical or ‘social’ reasons into law.

Professor Lisa Jardine CBE, Chair of the HFEA, said,

With the majority of people in the UK funding their own treatment, cost is a major concern. The changes to our Code will help ensure that patients know upfront exactly how expensive their treatment will be.

The UK’s fertility clinics treat thousands of patients each year and are responsible for the safety of these patients, their eggs, sperm and embryos. Our new Code of Practice sits alongside robust and targeted regulation, to ensure that clinics are absolutely clear about their responsibilities.


Source: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HEFA), UK.

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