The report presented had updated the committee on the Service Harmonisation Consultation for Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board. It had set out the ambition to harmonise the provision of six service areas due to differing historic commissioning policies within the five clinical commissioning groups. Members were presented with the following presentation:
Councillor Pothecary questioned what “routine funded” meant to which she was informed that this was a process that had no thresholds, for an example an emergency operation such as an appendicitis which could not have been planned.
Councillor Ralph noted that on page 113 of the agenda under “Smoking” the word “not” should be removed.
Councillor Ralph referred to the sensitive issue of breast reduction and IVF and noted these were people’s lives, people’s dreams and hopes and quite often a sensitive issue and asked for clarity on IVF, that the offer of two free shots were being offered in Thurrock. Peter Scolding stated that yes, with the policy within an age bracket of 23 to 39, two cycles of IVF, 14 above if it had been funded previously, with same sex couples having a maximum of one cycle as provided previously.
Kim James stated HealthWatch, nor CVS were unaware of the planned public event at the Beehive and asked for further information.
Councillor Pothecary stated that currently treatment for breast reduction was open to smokers but with the new policy this opportunity would be taken away from smokers and questioned what the clinical justification for this was. The clinical justification of this, following the process going through the clinical multi-professional groups, specialist groups in that area on the thresholds that would be placed was that the impact of smoking was the healing of relatively large wounds that would be involved in breast reduction surgery and the benefit of people stopping smoking would be important in the outcome from that surgery. Councillor Pothecary requested that as part of the consultation the clinical justification was made clear.
Councillor Ralph questioned what the timeframe was of becoming a smoker to a non-smoker to which he was informed that preliminary discussions had taken place on this, and exact definitions would need to be clarified.
Jo Broadbent referred to the fertility policy and questioned was one of the criteria for getting funded IVF was to have been through a certain number of IUI cycles previously to which she was informed yes that was one of the principles to qualify for IVF was to demonstrate infertility for men and female couples was a period of two years of trying without conceiving. In male-female couples there would no requirement to go through any process of IUI, for same sex couples, who are unable to demonstrate infertility in the same way so the requirement in terms of demonstrating and fertility had been six cycles of IUI that had not been funded previously under the CCG policy, therefore that part of the policy had stayed consistent.
Councillor Pothecary questioned how much, roughly, was a round of private IUI to which this information would be provided for members.
Councillor Piccolo questioned how the definitions of “how long being a smoker” and how checks would be undertaken before and after treatment to which he was informed that discussions were taking place and would be defined as part of the consultation.
Councillor Ralph wondered whether vaping would be classed as smoking due to the nicotine element.
1. The Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted this update and supported the promotion of the consultation.
2. Agreed to receive the analysis of public consultation at a future meeting.