HEALTH bosses will stop funding infertility treatment for three months as part of emergency cuts worth tens of millions of pounds.

NHS North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust (PCT) said the measures, including making up to 60 redundancies, were in response to predictions they will overspend £29m by the end of this financial year.

The trust apologised for halting treatment, but said it had to stay in the black.

The measures, which also include halting routine vasectomies, were condemned by an infertility charity.

Clare Lewis-Jones, the chairwoman of the National Infertility Awareness Campaign (NIAC) and chief executive of the patient group Infertility UK, said: “Words cannot express how angry and let down we feel about their decision to suspend funding for IVF treatment.”

She said she was particularly annoyed that the announcement was made only a few months after the trust increased its funding for IVF.

She said: “PCTs simply cannot play around with people’s lives and futures like this by stopping and starting funding.”

Her views were echoed by Sandra Morgan, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, who had four IVF treatment sessions before finally having three children, Tess, seven, Frank, nine, and Finn, 11.

Mrs Morgan, 47, said: “It is outrageous. They are denying treatment that is totally fundamental to people’s lives.

“There isn’t a day that goes by when I do not look at the children and thank God for what I have got.”

The trust said contracts and prescribing costs meant it was heading for a £29m overspend, on top of a £33.8m shortfall in funding.

Jayne Brown, the chief executive of NHS North Yorkshire and York PCT, said: “We have a statutory obligation to achieve financial balance and our priority is to achieve significant short-term savings whilst maintaining essential services.

“We fully appreciate that the decisions we have taken will be unpalatable. Every member of the board also finds them unpalatable.”

IVF procedures will be halted from January until April.

While the current waiting list will be honoured, no patients will be added unless there are exceptional circumstances.

It is likely to affect about 60 couples.

The trust will also halt some procedures and services carried out in GP practices such as vasectomies and colonoscopies. Up to 60 people will be made redundant.