NHS70: spotlight on specialised commissioning

A medic using innovative technology

Specialised services provide care to patients with a range of rare and complex conditions, often at times when they are in greatest need. They can involve treatments provided to patients with rare cancers, genetic disorders or complex medical or surgical conditions. They deliver cutting-edge care, and are often a catalyst for innovation, supporting pioneering research in the NHS.

These services include a range of treatments, from interventions that most of us have heard of, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, neonatal critical care and kidney dialysis, through to pioneering procedures that are currently only carried out in small numbers, such as using an artificial cornea to restore vision to blind patients. We also support trials of treatments, such as Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); a drug combination used to prevent HIV.

Find out more about specialised services.

What are specialised services?

For a quick overview of specialised services, watch our animation.

Delivering the first high energy proton beam therapy services in the UK

Proton beam therapy is a different type of radiotherapy. It uses a high energy beam of protons rather than high energy X-rays to deliver a dose of radiotherapy for patients with cancer. It works best on some very rare cancers including tumours affecting the base of skull or the spine. Proton beam treatment can be a more effective form of therapy because it directs the radiation treatment to precisely where it is needed with minimal damage to surrounding tissue.

Watch this video to find out more about proton beam therapy.

Specialised services spotlight on: childhood cancer, kidney failure, scoliosis

Spotlight on specialised services: infographics

These infographics show how specialised services have improved outcomes over the past 70 years of the NHS in the following areas: childhood cancer services, patients with scoliosis and kidney failure services.

Take a look at the specialised services infographics.

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