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Department of Health written question – answered on 3rd November 2014.

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Photo of Stephen Gilbert Stephen Gilbert Liberal Democrat, St Austell and Newquay

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the (a) process and (b) timelines followed by the NHS to determine a specialised clinical commissioning policy are; and what the roles and responsibilities are of the NHS committees involved.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Clinical policies are developed by the appropriate service specific clinical reference group and reviewed by the Clinical Prioritisation Advisory Group (CPAG). CPAG then makes a recommendation whether to commission the service or treatment in question. CPAG recommendations are ratified by the Specialised Commissioning Oversight Group (SCOG).

The length of time to produce a clinical commissioning policy is variable depending on the complexity of the subject area. The timeline is typically between 6-9 months but can be shorter.

SCOG has operational oversight of specialised commissioning and has delegated authority to make decisions on the recommendations made by CPAG, which provides advice to NHS England about any decision-making that defines access to clinical services. The Directly Commissioned Services Committee, a sub-committee of the NHS England Board, oversees the delivery of directly commissioned services within the overall strategy set by NHS England. The SCOG reports to this committee.

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