Concern over NHS approach to specialised commissioning

Wed, 14 September 2016

National Voices chief executive, Jeremy Taylor, has signed a joint letter expressing concern about NHS England’s approach to its specialised commissioning process.

National Voices chief executive, Jeremy Taylor, has signed a joint letter expressing concern about NHS England’s approach to its specialised commissioning process.

The letter has been published in The Times and follows the high profile court case over funding of HIV prevention drugs PrEP.

A full copy of the letter is republished here:

Dear Sir,

Over recent weeks, we have been alarmed by the ‘divide and rule’ tactics used by NHS England when communicating which new treatments it will make available to patients. 

These funding decisions affect the lives of people with a range of rare or complex conditions. As organisations representing the patients who would benefit from these treatments, we are concerned by the way in which NHS England has publicly pitted the interests of one patient group against another in its press statements. All patients, and all conditions, matter. 

In light of this week’s High Court hearing about HIV prevention drug, PrEP, NHS England will soon look again at which treatments it will fund.

Whatever the outcome, we must not see a repeat of this divisive approach.

We understand the NHS must make difficult choices. All we ask from our national health service is to adopt an ethical and transparent approach in taking these decisions and to communicate them in a way that is respectful to the people who are affected by them.

Yours sincerely,

  • Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive National Voices
  • John Murray, Director, Specialised Healthcare Alliance (SHCA)
  • Ian Green, Chief Executive, Terrence Higgins Trust
  • Steve Ford, Chief Executive, Parkinsons UK
  • Sally Light, Motor Neurone Disease Association
  • Philip Lee, Chief Executive, Epilepsy Action
  • Charles Gore, Chief Executive, Hepatitis C Trust
  • Menai Owen-Jones, Chief Executive, The Pituitary Foundation
  • Roger Brown, Chair, Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia UK

Charities and supporters are being encourage to tweet links to the letter using the #PatientsTogether hashtag.

For more information contact Andrew McCracken, National Voices' Head of Communications, on 020 3176 0737 or andrew.mccracken@nationalvoices.org.uk.