‘Specialised services’ is an NHS jargon term for hospital-based provision for less common conditions and rare diseases. They are funded differently from most hospital services, and the way the money moves round the system is due to change a lot from April 2013 in England.
From April, specialised services are going to be contracted for and paid for by the central NHS Commissioning Board. This will include most neuroscience hospitals, and will pay for many MS services such as disease modifying drug therapy clinics (beta interferon etc).
The NHS Commissioning Board aims to standardise services across England, reducing and eliminating the postcode lottery of specialised hospital-provided care. To this end, they have produced some service specifications, which include ones for Neuroscience services and Pain clinics. Service specifications are basic outlines of what a service should have, in terms of staff, equipment and where clinics are offered.
There are also some Commissioning Policy Statements which indicate when particular drugs or procedures can be provided. All of these are open for comment on the NHS Commissioning Board website
Please read some of these and see whether they offer the services you want to receive in a way you want them. We will be responding to specific items, i.e.
- Neurosciences: neurology
- Multiple sclerosis treatments
- Intrathecal baclofen
There are extra items that we don’t have the staff and time to respond to, such as Wheelchairs, Communication Aids, Environmental Controls, which may be relevant to you.
We will publish what we say, once it’s been agreed. The closing date for comments is 25 January 2013, so there’s not a lot of time; please respond directly to the NHS Commissioning Board.
11 January 2013