NHS England directly commissions around 145 specialised services. In order to ensure the maximum number of patients benefit from new innovative treatments coming on stream, choices need to be made about which of these to fund. In carrying out a public consultation, NHS England will ensure the principles and process for making these decisions are well informed, evidence-led and in line with the expectations of patients and the public. The consultation will last for 90 days from 27 January 2015.
All feedback received via the online consultation will be collated and summarised and a report of the consultation findings will be considered by the Specialised Commissioning Committee and the NHS England Board. NHS England will publish a report outlining the key themes of the consultation findings on its website.
This process is looking at the specialist treatments and services that will be routinely available for groups of patients on the NHS. Clinicians, on behalf of their patients, will continue to be able to make a request (an Individual Funding Request) to NHS England for treatment that is not routinely available.
NHS England is also undertaking an engagement exercise to seek views on which specialised services should be prioritised for ‘service reviews’ as part of a rolling programme of reviewing how each specialised service is delivered. NHS England is writing to all providers of specialised services, Clinical Reference Groups and associated patient groups seeking their views on where to concentrate efforts over next 12 – 24 months. A number of engagement events and workshops are also being planned. Views on which areas to prioritise for service reviews can also be emailed to them.
Adult specialist renal services and specialist morbid obesity services
NHS England has said that it has listened to patients and clinicians and would continue national commissioning of specialist renal and morbid obesity services in 2015/16. It said it will keep under review whether to transfer responsibility to clinical commissioning groups, but any changes would not happen before April 2016.