Individual funding requests can sometimes be used as a means of prescribing a treatment that is not routinely offered by the NHS or has not yet been appraised by NICE in England or Wales, or the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) in Scotland.
An individual funding request can only be made by a health professional if they think your particular circumstances mean that this is the appropriate treatment for you and that there are no alternatives available on the NHS. They will also need to show that there is evidence for using the treatment and that it will be cost effective.
Your situation also needs to be "clinically exceptional". This means the request should not be used as a test case to make a case for providing a treatment to a larger group of people in a similar situation. The clinically exceptional rule does not apply in Wales following a change in the rules in September 2017
An individual funding request can be a drawn-out bureaucratic process and doctors or neurologists are only likely to undertake this approach if they are convinced that there are no other options for you.
Individual funding requests have different names around the UK:
- England - individual funding request (IFR)
- Scotland - individual patient treatment request (IPTR)
- Wales - individual patient funding request (IPFR)
- Northern Ireland - individual funding request (IFR).
Each Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in England or Health Board (in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) should be able to provide the rules and process for applying for an individual funding request. However, the CCG or Health Board may choose not to fund the treatment even if a doctor believes it might help.