Jessamy Kinghorn, Head of Communications and Engagement for NHS England Specialised Services and Ruth Ashmore, Assistant Director of Specialised Commissioning, NHS England Midlands & East (East of England) presented the report that provided Members with an overview of the specialised commissioning function within NHS England and their current priorities for 2016/17.
Ruth Ashmore briefly detailed that there were 140 specialised services commissioned by 10 specialised commissioning teams across 4 regions with 6 national programmes of care being internal medicine, cancer, mental health, trauma, women and children and blood and infection. Ruth Ashmore stated that specialised services tend to be for rarer conditions and those that were more costly to treat and briefly explained the challenges for specialised commissioning.
The top 10 services and the emerging priority for 2016/17 were briefly detailed to Members.
Councillor Collins asked if there had been a significant rise in Paediatric Burns. Ruth Ashmore stated that the numbers were tiny and that suitable services were available either at Great Ormond Street or Birmingham Hospitals if patients could not be dealt with at Basildon Hospital.
Councillor Collins noted that there were a small number of HIV services. Ruth Ashmore stated that the cost of drugs was a major element to this and discussions around prevention would need to take place.
Councillor Collins stated his surprise to see Gender Reassignment Services on the NHS. Ruth Ashmore stated this service was available for adults and children but there were insufficient providers that had resulted in long waiting lists.
Councillor Collins stated that after undertaking some research it had highlighted some negative outcomes for a number of cases of surgery and higher instances of suicide and attempted suicides had been recorded and had this been followed up on patients.
Ruth Ashmore confirmed that there had been outcomes measured which had been included in the national specification and that there was a high level of patients who were not put on the right pathway. Ruth Ashmore further stated that this would be subject to looking at both of those questions in terms of do patients that do well and those that had a physiological and medical health issues were conscious of not having been offered gender reassignment and support.
Councillor Snell asked for an update on the PET(CT) scanner. Ruth Ashmore stated that the engagement process had been completed at the end of May, which had been received extremely well with roadshows, public, clinician and patient surveys and group meetings taken place and a decision will hopefully be made in July 2016 with an implementation date of December 2016.
Councillor Fish asked what next steps were in place for the engagement of patients, especially those of a younger age. Ruth Ashmore stated that a clear programme had been set out in transforming care for people with learning disabilities and working alongside other national partners.
The Chair thanked Ruth Ashmore and Jessamy Kinghorn for attending the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee and for their interesting and informative presentation.
That the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the overview of the specialised commissioning function within NHS England and the current priorities for 2016/17.
Jessamy Kinghorn left the Committee Room at 7.34pm.