To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 25 November 2014 to Question 215404, what consultation NHS England undertook with the renal dialysis clinical reference group when developing its proposal to transfer responsibility for commissioning of dialysis to clinical commissioning groups; and what response that clinical reference group gave to that proposal.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 25 November 2014 to Question 215404, what consultation NHS England undertook with external stakeholders before announcing the proposal to transfer responsibility for commissioning of dialysis to clinical commissioning groups; and if he will ensure that NHS England undertakes further consultation on the principle as well as the process of transferring that responsibility.
NHS England has advised that they discussed the overall direction of travel for specialised services with Clinical Reference Groups (CRGs), although the renal dialysis CRG was not directly consulted in the early discussions about whether to consider changing the commissioning arrangements for renal services. However, clinical leaders have been part of the deliberations and will continue to be involved through the consultation process.
The development of the proposals for transferring responsibility for renal dialysis services and morbid obesity surgery services which NHS England put to the Prescribed Specialised Services Advisory Group (PSSAG) for consideration was done in partnership with the NHS Commissioning Assembly Task and Finish Group on Specialised Service commissioning. This group is made up of clinical commissioners from around the country. The group was asked by NHS England to advise on the development of proposals for enhancing specialised service commissioning in 2015-16, specifically proposals that would enable improved pathway integrity. NHS England presented the proposed direction of travel for specialised commissioning in 2015-16 to the chairs of CRGs earlier in the year.
PSSAG recommended transferring commissioning responsibility for renal dialysis services from NHS England to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). The Department has launched a public consultation to consider how to transfer commissioning responsibility and what would need to happen to ensure a smooth transition and maintain both service standards and patient safety. This consultation closes on 9 January 2015.
NHS England have advised that they are in dialogue with key stakeholders about both the opportunities and challenges of transferring commissioning responsibility for renal services from NHS England to CCGs.