This portfolio covers a range of specialist services for children and young people with cancer – which are normally delivered by, or accessed through, Principal Treatment Centres. The exact scope of NHS England’s commissioning responsibility is set out in the Manual for prescribed specialised services and includes:
- Systemic anti-cancer therapy
- Radiotherapy and proton beam therapy
- Specialist interventions, e.g., blood and marrow transplantations
- Survivorship, long-term follow-up and rehabilitation
- Specialist palliative care services.
Children and young people’s cancer clinical reference group (CRG)
This service portfolio is supported by a lead and inform CRG – comprising:
- Julia Chisholm, Chair
- Nick Bird, Patient and Public Voice Representative
- Helen Morris, Clinical Member
- Dan Stark, Clinical Member
- Helen Hatcher, Clinical Member
- Bernadette Brennan, Clinical Member
- Deborah Rowley, Clinical Member
- Rachel Dommet, Clinical Member
- Aditi Vedi, Clinical Member
- Cat Duncan, Clinical Member
- Caroline Osborne, NHS England Pharmacy lead
- Helen Gravestock, Affiliate Member – Young Lives vs Cancer
- Ashley Gamble , Affiliate Member – Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group and Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer
- Rossanna Trudgian, Affiliate Member – Teenage Cancer Trust
- Jay Halbet, Affiliate Member – Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group
A key part of the CRG’s work is to support the production of national commissioning tools, including service specifications and clinical commissioning policies.
Service specifications set out the standard of care expected from organisations funded by NHS England to provide specialised care. They are developed by clinicians, patient and public voice representatives and commissioners 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:
- Children’s cancer services – principal treatment centre, including the operational delivery network
- Children’s cancer services – paediatric oncology shared care unit
- Teenage and young adult cancer services – principal treatment centre
- Teenage and young adult cancer services – designated hospital
- Teenage and young adult cancer services – network specification
- Retinoblastoma service (children)
NHS England, Teenage Cancer Trust and Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly 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.
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:
- Dexrazoxane for preventing cardiotoxicity in children and young people (under 25 years) receiving high-dose anthracyclines or related drugs for the treatment of cancer (effective from April 2020)
- Use of plerixafor for stem cell mobilisation
- Proton Beam Therapy for children, teenagers and young adults in the treatment of malignant and non-malignant tumours