Just as the sun starts to shine and we all look forward to working a bit less hard, the Department of Health have decided to produce their consultation on the future of the functions of the HFEA today p://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/06/consultation-regulators/
I haven’t looked at the background paper yet but the questions asked are all to do with saving money. Quantify this, deliver further efficiencies there, provide examples of costs and benefits all over the place. Really quite dispiriting. There is nothing to do with recognising needs and providing an appropriate service.
We all have thirteen weeks until 28th September to respond and I do urge everyone with an interest to do so. As I have said in previous blogs, the register has to remain in being as it is protected under the HFE Act, but there is nothing to say how it should be looked after or about access to it by those whose information it records. It is vital that this register should be in the hands of people who understand the value of the details contained therein and who are committed to facilitating access to it in a way that recognises the emotional impact of learning your donor’s name or that you have 18 half siblings. The current team at the HFEA I think do understand the former and are beginning to get there with the latter. I cannot think of another existing body that could take on this function. How to express this in the monetary terms that seem to be required I have yet to figure out.
Late afternoon: Just had official confirmation, although it has been pretty obvious for the last couple of weeks, that I have not been selected to be part of the HFEA’s new National Donation Strategy Group. I am, however, in distinguished company as others, with enormous knowledge and experience in donor conception matters, have also been rejected. Given my open scepticism about this group it was unlikely that I would be chosen, but I do hope that the parent they have picked (and I assume they must have done) has wider experience than just his or her own personal situation. Various names have leaked out as having been ‘approached’ following their applications, but no parent or donor conceived adult yet. I guess an official announcement will be made shortly, but my scepticism will deepen if they leave out people bringing these perspectives.