NHS England pauses Commissioning through Evaluation project for renal artery denervation

NHS England has paused its plans to introduce an evaluation project for renal artery denervation, a treatment proposed for patients with hypertension which is resistant to other forms of treatment.

This means that the treatment remains as not routinely commissioned by the NHS in England.

James Palmer, Clinical Director, Specialised Services, said:

“On 9 January it was announced by Medtronic that the largest trial so far, in over 500 patients undertaken for this treatment, had completed its first phase. Whilst there were no safety concerns, the initial analysis indicated that the treatment had failed to achieve the expected clinical effect at 6 months.”

“The results of the trial will be discussed in international professional meetings to determine the future direction of evaluating this treatment. For the time being NHS England has paused the planning of its Commissioning through Evaluation project and the treatment remains as not routinely commissioned.

“The Joint Professional Societies Group supports this position having reviewed the treatment in 2012. Patients who have been considered for this treatment should return to their GP or cardiologist for further advice.”

Commissioning through Evaluation is an innovative commissioning approach which enables appropriate services or treatments, which are not routinely commissioned, to be funded within defined parameters as part of a specific evaluation programme.

Services and/or treatments which form part of this evaluation programme, have been identified by clinicians and patient representatives as showing significant ‘promise’ as potential treatments options for the future.

NHS England launched its first programme of this kind in September last year, with an evaluation of Selective Internal Radiotherapy (SIRT).