To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of interim funding decisions for neurosurgery made by specialised commissioning groups on (a) patients with rare clinical need and (b) their carers and families.
During 2012-13, all money and accountability for the decision making processes for access to specialised services will still be under the control of primary care trusts (PCTs).
Commitments have been given to PCTs that no policy convergence will take place in 2012-13 without their knowledge and explicit support. In the case of access to neurosurgery, this will still be governed by local policy although work is being undertaken to identify differences in access to services.
A clinical, financial and public patient experience and engagement process is being developed to support policy convergence for 2013-14 onwards.