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Women's Health Strategy paves the way for more inclusive and accessible fertility services

The HFEA responds to the publication of the Women's Health Strategy

Julia Chain, HFEA Chair, said: “The new Women’s Health Strategy is a positive step forward for fertility patients. The HFEA welcomes removing inequalities of access to fertility treatment, as well as the other key actions to enable better care for fertility patients. We look forward to working with others to ensure that the strategy is implemented and to making a real difference to patients across the UK.

“We know that access to NHS fertility services varies depending on where you live and who you might be in a relationship with, so we are particularly pleased to see commitments to address the geographical divide, provide fairer funding for same-sex couples and put an end to the non-clinical criteria which prevented patients from accessing NHS treatment if they had a child from a previous relationship. This, along with the current review of the HFEA’s regulatory powers – which are 30-years-old - paves the way for a more inclusive and accessible service for fertility patients.

“Most people who are worried about their fertility start by speaking to their GP and our latest data shows that over half wait another 6-18 months before starting treatment [1]. We look forward to working with others to ensure that all healthcare professionals have accessible and up to date information and that patients, partners and donors have impartial information as and when they want it.

“There are many important ambitions outlined in the Women’s Health Strategy and we look forward to working with Dame Lesley Regan and others to ensure they are realised.”


Notes to editors

About the HFEA

  • The HFEA is the UK’s independent regulator of fertility treatment and research using human embryos.
  • Set up in 1990 by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, the HFEA is responsible for licensing, monitoring, and inspecting fertility clinics to ensure patients and everyone born through fertility treatment receives high quality care.
  • The HFEA is an ‘arm’s length body’ of the Department for Health and Social Care, working independently from Government providing free, clear, and impartial information about fertility treatment, clinics and egg, sperm and embryo donation.
  • The HFEA is funded by licence fees, IVF treatment fees and a grant from UK central government. For more information visit,

Review date: 20 July 2024