Specialist cancer services for children and young people include:
- All cancer chemotherapy (including delivery) and radiotherapy;
- Specialist palliative care services;
- 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
Professor Sir Mike Richards has now been asked to assess the consultation responses and advise on the best way forward. His comprehensive and independent review will include:
- Meeting with the members of the clinical reference group to hear their views, including of the consultation responses
- Reviewing available evidence
- Visits to a number of services across England
- Hearing directly from patients and families, stakeholders, clinicians, and professional bodies
Professor Richards has undertaken to present his findings and recommendations about the best way forward to the public board meeting of NHS England and NHS Improvement in early 2020.
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
- Michael Ryalls, Clinical Member
- Rachel Dommett, Clinical Member
- Dan Stark, Clinical Member
- Paul Fleming, Patient and Public Voice Representative
- Helen McShane, Patient and Public Voice Representative (CLIC Sargent)
- Sasha Daly, Patient and Public Voice Representative (Teenage Cancer Trust)
- Ashley Gamble, Affiliate Member (CCLG)
- Dave Hobin, Affiliate Member (TYAC)
- Gillian Priday, Affiliate Member (Royal College of Nursing)
The Children and Young People’s CRG is also supported by an NHS England Pharmacy Lead.
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 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:
- 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 nonmalignant tumours