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Crohn's Disease sufferer accepts offer of private fertility treatment with support from CCG

Crohn's disease sufferer receives offer of free fertility treatment following legal battle

17 April 2014

A Clinical Commissioning Group has agreed to cover the expenses of a 25-year-old artist from Kent, who suffers from a debilitating disease, so that she can receive fertility treatment at a private clinic in London following a High Court challenge.

Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had refused funding for Lizzy Rose from Margate in Kent so that her eggs could be frozen prior to chemotherapy treatment which she urgently requires to treat Crohn’s disease.

The CCG were told by the High Court on Tuesday 15th April 2014 that its current policy for refusing treatment fails to give a proper reason for departure from NICE Guidance and pays only ‘lip service’ to equality duties and the duties to reduce inequalities in access to healthcare.

The CCG are currently considering its legal position, however, as Ms Rose requires the treatment for Crohn’s disease immediately she has accepted the offer of free treatment at a private London clinic and the CCG have agreed to fund the necessary travel and accommodation she needs due to the impact on Lizzy’s health from travelling to the clinic.

Following the fertility procedure at the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre in London, Ms Rose will undergo a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy to bring the disease into remission, a course of treatment, which is highly likely to render her infertile.

Merry Varney from law firm Leigh Day explained: “The CCG is are currently considering their legal position following the Court’s judgment that their current policy is unlawful. Having accepted that this takes time, which Lizzy simply does not have, they have agreed to financially support Lizzy to access fertility preservation treatment privately.

“The wider implications of the Court's Declaration is that, pending any successful appeal, any CCG, including Thanet CCG, who refuses women like Lizzy funding for egg freezing without an exceptionally good reason and without paying appropriate regard to their statutory duties, is acting unlawfully and will be open to a legal challenge.”

Lizzy Rose said:  

"I am extremely grateful to Thanet CCG for taking this decision. I now need to continue my treatment and the offer by ARGC clinic gives me the best opportunity to do that.

“I am aware that I am lucky in this respect and I hope that Thanet CCG do revisit their policy to ensure that no other single women in my position has to go through this process to ensure that they can have children in the future.

"I have been overwhelmed by kind messages of support from the public and clinicians. I would like to thank anyone who took the time to contact me; your support means a lot.

“Leigh Day and Merry Varney have been incredibly supportive as has Jeremy Hyam from One Crown Office Row. I have always felt that they have had my best interests at heart.”

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