latest health care news

12.07.16

NHS commissioning of new services dependent on PrEP ruling

NHS England has announced 18 new services that it will make available this year, but warned that the decision is provisional while it waits for the outcome of a ruling on whether it is responsible for commissioning an anti-HIV treatment.

The proposals were chosen from among 22 considered by the independently-chaired Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) as affordable for the NHS within this financial year.

The treatments are prioritised on five levels, according to the ratio between clinical benefit and cost.

They include complex obesity surgery for children, robotic assisted surgery for kidney cancer, and penile prostheses for end stage erectile dysfunction. In addition, NHS England will begin routinely commissioning 30 new tests for genetic conditions.

The National AIDS Trust is currently seeking judicial review of NHS England’s decision to stop commissioning PrEP, an HIV prevention drug, on the grounds that the responsibility should be transferred to local councils.

NHS England said that if the High Court rules that it should commission the service, it will agree a clinical commissioning policy and priority ranking for PrEP, which could change the priority ranking of other treatments and potentially mean that some are no longer available.

Dr Jonathan Fielden, NHS England’s national director for specialised commissioning and deputy national medical director, said: “We’re pleased that we have been able today to announce new treatments and services to enhance the care and outcomes for many patients, although we are frustrated that we cannot yet confirm funding for an additional eighteen services whilst we await the outcome of a judicial review.

“This is because, if NHS England loses the judicial review, we will need to consider displacing some of the proposed new treatments depending on the PrEP decision. NHS England is doing all it can to expedite these proceedings, which are preventing us confirming the new opportunities for so many.”

NHS England is also commissioning 12 new services which are not dependent on the judicial review outcome because they are cost-neutral or cost saving.

These include bone conducting hearing implants, immune tolerance induction for haemophilia and palliative radiotherapy for bone pain.

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