Children and Young People’s Cancer

Specialist cancer services for children and young people include:

  • All cancer chemotherapy (including delivery) and radiotherapy;
  • Specialist palliative care services;
  • Survivorship;
  • Long-term follow up; and
  • Specialist therapies and rehabilitation.

The exact scope of NHS England’s commissioning responsibility is set out in the Manual for Prescribed Specialised Services.

Guide to services

NHS England, Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent have developed a helpful introduction to services for teenagers and young adults with cancer. It explains the general standards of care to expect from the NHS and offers some information that may help in making choices about care.

Reviewing cancer services for children and young adults

NHS England Specialised Commissioning consulted on revised service specifications for cancer services for children and teenagers and young adults, in 2019 and, alongside this, we commissioned Professor Sir Mike Richards to provide an independent view to NHS England on the appropriate design of these services.

This report was presented to the NHS England Board in January 2020, with all his recommendations approved.

The service specifications for children’s cancer services for Principal Treatment Centres and Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Units, have now been published, as set out in our response to Professor Sir Mike Richards.

Children and young people clinical reference group

This service area is supported by a Clinical Reference Group (CRG). The main function of a CRG is to provide the primary source of clinical advice for specialised services and the membership comprises clinical, Patient and Public Voice (PPV) representatives and professional associations. Each CRG is also supported by an NHS England Commissioning Lead and Public Health Lead.

Membership of Children and Young People Clinical Reference Group

  • Rachael Hough, Chair
  • Bernadette Brennan, Clinical Member
  • Darren Hargrave, Clinical Member
  • Helen Hatcher, Clinical Member
  • Julia Chisholm, Clinical Member
  • Rachel Dommett, Clinical Member
  • Dan Stark, Clinical Member
  • Nicholas Bird, Patient and Public Voice Representative
  • Helen McShane, Patient and Public Voice Representative (Young Lives Vs Cancer)
  • Louise Soanes, Patient and Public Voice Representative (Teenage Cancer Trust)
  • Ashley Gamble, Affiliate Member (CCLG)
  • Richard Grundy, Affiliate Member (CCLG)
  • Jamie Cargill, Affiliate Member (TYAC)
  • Helen Morris, Affiliate Member (Royal College of Nursing)

The Children and Young People’s CRG is also supported by an NHS England Pharmacy Lead.

Commissioning products

A key part of the CRG’s work is the delivery of the ‘products’ of commissioning. These are the tools used by the Regional Commissioning Teams to contract services.

Service specifications

Service specifications are important in clearly defining the standards of care expected from organisations funded by NHS England to provide specialised care. The specifications have been developed by specialised clinicians, commissioners, expert patients and public health representatives to describe both core and developmental service standards. Core standards are those that all funded providers should be able to demonstrate, with developmental standards being those which may require further changes in practice over time to provide excellence in the field.

The following service specifications fall within the scope of this CRG:

Clinical commissioning policies

A commissioning policy is a document that defines access to a service for a particular group of patients. A NICE Technology Appraisal Guideline on the same topic will replace, or be incorporated into, a commissioning policy as appropriate. These are important documents that are developed to ensure consistency in access to treatments nationwide.

The following policies fall within the scope of this CRG: