Britain’s fertility regulator, which polices one of the most controversial areas of medicine, has been reprieved.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which regulates IVF clinics providing treatment to infertile couples and research on embryos, had been earmarked for closure as part of the Coalition government’s “bonfire of the quangos” to cut bureaucracy and save money.
Its functions were due to be assumed by the Care Quality Commission, the general NHS and Care Home regulator. But following overwhelming support for the HFEA during consultation, the Department of Health yesterday announced that it would be retained, subject to a new review to “establish its future shape”.
IVF clinics and embryo researchers have complained that the regulatory burden on them is excessive, expensive and time wasting.
The Human Tissue Authority, which regulates the removal, storage and use of organs and tissue for research and teaching, will also be retained.