Medical Treatments: Finance

Health written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of John Battle John Battle Labour, Leeds West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many exceptional funding requests for treatment were (a) approved and (b) declined by primary care trusts in (i) Leeds West constituency, (ii) Leeds Metropolitan District and (iii) England in each year since 2000.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

The information requested is not held centrally.

It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) to commission services on behalf of their populations and to make decisions locally on which treatments to fund, taking into account all relevant circumstances and their statutory responsibilities and the principles of administrative law set out by the courts, particularly in relation to funding policies and whether to fund treatment in exceptional circumstances.

The draft "National Health Service Constitution" (copies of which have already been placed in the Library) makes clear the patient's right to expect local decisions on funding for drugs, for which National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance is not available, to be made rationally following proper consideration of the evidence. To underpin this, the Government will require PCTs to put in place clear and transparent arrangements both for local decision-making on funding of new drugs and for considering exceptional funding requests, and to publish information on those arrangements. Where the local NHS decides not to fund a treatment, the patient and clinician can expect an explanation.

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