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Archive of: November, 2014

  • SHCA letter to The Times

    The Chair and members of the Specialised Healthcare Alliance wrote to The Times newspaper last Thursday 6th November to express their serious concern on proposed changes in specialised commissioning.

    The letter and list of signatories is enclosed below.


    The Health and Social Care Act 2012 has been much criticised. The decision to transfer responsibility for specialised services from local commissioners to NHS England was, however, recognised by all as a sensible step, providing certainty around standards and access to treatment where previously there had been little or none.

    NHS England’s subsequent experience has been less happy, involving a substantial overspend and cumbersome decision-making, all with damaging effects for patients.

    These problems are, however, fixable and do not challenge the fundamental sense of planning specialised services and sharing the associated financial risk across the country.

    It is therefore of serious concern that NHS England is now proposing to co-commission specialised services with local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

    It makes sense for the NHS to collaborate at national and local level, but muddying budgets and responsibility between NHS England and CCGs promises a return to the postcode lottery of the past.

    We write as members of the Specialised Healthcare Alliance.

    Baroness Wheeler of Blackfriars (Chair)
    Anne Keatley-Clarke, Children’s Heart Federation
    Arlene Wilkie, Neurological Alliance
    Caroline Davey, Bliss
    Catherine Harris, Communication Matters
    Chloe Hayward, UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum
    Chris Phillips, Behçet’s Syndrome Society
    Christos Sotirelis, UK Thalassaemia Society
    Colin Dyer, WellChild
    Dan Burden, Spinal Injuries Association
    David Edgar, UK Primary Immunodeficiency Network
    David Ryner, CML Support Group
    Deborah Gold, National AIDS Trust
    Ed Owen, Cystic Fibrosis Trust
    Elizabeth Bevins, Raynaud’s & Scleroderma Association
    Henny Braund, Anthony Nolan
    Jackie Bland, Shine
    James Babington Smith, Guillain Barré and Associated Inflammatory Neuropathies
    Jayne Spink, Tuberous Sclerosis Association
    Jeremy Taylor, National Voices
    John Kell, Motor Neurone Disease Association
    Lara Bloom, Ehlers-Danlos Support UK
    Lesley Kavi, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome UK
    Liz Carroll, Haemophilia Society
    Lynne Regent, Anaphylaxis Campaign
    Nick Sireau, AKU Society
    Paddy Tabor, British Kidney Patient Association
    Paul Decle, Forum Link
    Paul Lenihan, Action Duchenne
    Richard Piper, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity
    Richard Rogerson, Niemann-Pick UK
    Rosanna Preston, Cleft Lip & Palate Association
    Rosemary Gillespie, Terrence Higgins Trust
    Sasha Daly, Teenage Cancer Trust
    Steve Powell, SignHealth
    Susan Walsh, Primary Immunodeficiency UK
    Timothy Statham, National Kidney Federation