Immunotherapy and Transplant Surgery: Cost of Living

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 1 June 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Mendelsohn Lord Mendelsohn Labour

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to mitigate the impact of the increased cost of living on stem cell transplant and CAR-T therapy recipients.

Photo of Lord Mendelsohn Lord Mendelsohn Labour

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to assess (1) the potential benefit of establishing a patient travel fund for stem cell transplant and CAR-T therapy recipients, and (2) the potential cost to the Treasury.

Photo of Lord Mendelsohn Lord Mendelsohn Labour

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support stem cell transplant and CAR-T therapy patients in pursuing a safe return to work while maintaining protections for their health.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

There are no plans to assess the potential benefits and costs of establishing a patient travel fund for stem cell transplant and CAR-T recipients. NHS England does not provide any specific cost of living support for patients receiving stem cell transplantation, however, trusts can exercise discretion to provide accommodation and/or other support depending on local and individual patient circumstances. The Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (NEPTS) provide funded transport where it is considered essential to ensuring an individual’s safety, safe mobilisation, condition management or recovery.

Depending on a patient’s financial circumstances, they may be eligible for financial support with costs via the NHS Low Income Scheme and Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme. Those who do not qualify for NEPTS and need financial help with travel can access the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme. This is aimed specifically at those with a low income and allows patients to claim for all or part their travel costs should they meet the eligibility criteria.

We recognise the pressures people are facing with the rising cost of living. Our extensive arrangements to help people afford NHS prescription charges, means that almost 89% of prescription items dispensed in community pharmacies in England are already provided free of charge. For those not exempt from charges, pre-payment certificates can be used to cap costs at just over £2 a week for regular prescriptions.

People with long-term health conditions or disabilities, including those requiring stem cell transplants, may be entitled to financial support to contribute towards their extra costs such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Entitlement to PIP is assessed on the basis of the needs arising from a health condition or disability, rather than the health condition or disability itself.

The Government does not any specific support to stem cell transplant and CAR-T therapy patients pursuing a safe return to work. However, the Government has a range of initiatives to support disabled people and people with health conditions, including stem cell transplant and CAR-T therapy patients, to start, stay and succeed in work. These include increasing Work Coach and Disability Employment Advisers’ support in Jobcentres, the Work and Health Programme, Intensive Personalised Employment Support, Access to Work grants, Disability Confident, the Information and Advice Service and support in partnership between Department for Work and Pensions and the health system, including Employment Advice in NHS Talking Therapies.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No1 person thinks not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.