Commissioning Policy Outcomes

The FPM is pleased to see two policies for specialised pain services have been accepted and feel these will provide some clarity in management and an improved quality of life for those groups of patients. There will also be the benefit that they will utilise less health care resources overall.

The FPM is however disappointed to see that two of the policies (intrathecal drug delivery for non-cancer pain and deep brain stimulation) have been rejected without, at present, a clear indication of the reasoning behind these decisions. The outcome of these rejections, whether for strong or weak reasons, currently leaves some patients with no options for onward management and other patients, who are currently utilising the implants the policies cover, with an unclear pathway for future funding. The justification for the reason is of paramount importance to those patients on waiting lists (or who are aware of the intervention and may wish to pursue it) as they will need guidance for their continuing treatment pathway including an understanding of why the technique is not routinely funded.

We understand the Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Pain Services (chaired by Dr John Hughes) will have an opportunity to meet with NHS England over this policy decisions.  We would like to understand from NHS England what the reasons are for refusal in view of the evidence presented. 

For further information please visit NHS England.


10 July 2015