Cancer: Clinical Reference Groups

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 26th June 2018.

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Photo of Lord Mendelsohn Lord Mendelsohn Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the transparency of the decision-making process of NHS England in relation to cancer clinical reference groups and the frequency with which such groups meet.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

NHS England’s current model of Clinical Reference Groups (CRG) was established following an extensive public engagement process which was completed during April 2016.

Since April 2016, the Cancer National Programme of Care has been supported by five CRGs (Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Specialised Cancer Surgery, Specialised Cancer Diagnostics and Children’s and Young People’s Cancer Services). The role of each CRG is to provide the primary source of clinical advice and leadership to NHS England on those services that are nationally commissioned. Each CRG comprises clinicians, patient and public voice representatives, professional association representation, public health experts and a commissioner and will usually meet between two and four times per year.

Transparency of decision making is important to NHS England. As a result, both stakeholder testing and public consultation are conducted regularly, in accordance with NHS England’s published Service Development Policy and Methods, in relation to the development of new clinical commissioning policy and service specifications.

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