NHS England has published a number of interim generic policies, ensuring fair and consistent decision-making across its direct commissioning function.
The 14 policies cover all aspects of NHS England’s direct commissioning responsibilities including specialised services, primary care, screening, military and offender health.
The policies, agreed by the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG), set out NHS England’s approach on a variety of funding issues including Individual Funding Requests; access to treatments for patients moving between different sets of commissioners and services providers, and the process that NHS England will adopt for implementing guidance produced by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Other policies include the Ethical Framework for Priority Setting and Resource Allocation which sets out a fair and consistent approach to decision-making.
The policies are being adopted on an interim basis to enable NHS England to carry out further engagement with patients, carers and the public over the next 6-12 months in refining and agreeing final versions.
NHS England plans to bring together a steering group which will lead development of the policies, working in partnership with a range of stakeholders. This group will test the principles on which the policies are based and will revise them, where appropriate, in order to make them more accessible. This transparent approach to policy development reinforces NHS England’s commitment to ensuring that patients and carers are at the heart of the planning and development of NHS services.