September 2001

A summary of the one hundred and eleventh meeting of the
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on 28 September 2001

Matters arising from the minutes of the July Authority meeting

Members were informed that the police investigation into the Hampshire clinics was ongoing.

Chairman's Business

The Chairman outlined a case of a French woman who is seeking treatment in the UK with donor eggs and her brother's sperm that had attracted some media attention. Members were also informed that the Chairman had received a letter on Sex Selection from the Minister for Public Health asking for the Authority to carry out a review of the sex selection and public policy. The Chairman informed Members that this additional work could only be completed if it attracted additional resources from the Department of Health. The Chairman reported on the Human Genetics Commission meeting where the joint HFEA/HGC public response to the HFEA/ACGT 1999 consultation on preimplantation genetic diagnosis was discussed. Members noted that a joint response to the consultation would be published shortly.

A New Income Collection System for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Members were informed that a new system for calculating the fees charged to licensed centres under consideration had been drawn up and a consultation exercise with stakeholders had been carried out. There were some concerns that related to the passing on of costs to patients by centres but it was acknowledged that this would happen whatever fee system was introduced. Members agreed that the flat rate system should be taken forward and that this should be introduced gradually to give centres time to plan for financial change. It was also agreed that smaller centres providing very low numbers of treatment cycles should pay a much lower fee. The fee system would have to be agreed with the Department of Health and Treasury before it could be introduced.

Funding bid proposals

The Chief Executive reminded Members that over the last six months they had been informed about a number of organisation issues. Members agreed that full business cases should be drawn up to secure the funds necessary to carry out the statutory duties of the Authority and to address additional unexpected challenges.

Chief Executive's Business

The Chief Executive brought a number of issues to Members' attention. These included the progress of the outline business cases and the collection of income based on estimated bills.

The Chief Executive also informed Members that there had been a meeting to discuss the issues surrounding ICSI follow up.

Reports from Committees and Working Groups

Reports were presented from meetings of the Licensing and Fees Committee and the Ethics Committee. The Licensing and Fees Committee reported on discussions on the proposals for new fees structure and operational changes for licensing work. The Ethics Committee reported on a review of HFEA sub-committees and the discussion of the draft response to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' consultation on genetics and human behaviour.

Any Other Business

No business was raised under this item.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Authority is Friday 26 October 2001 at 2pm.

Page last updated: 24 October 2011