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Healthcare Professionals

Specialised Services

Specialised services support people with a range of rare and complex conditions. They often involve treatments provided to patients with rare cancers, genetic disorders or complex medical or surgical conditions. They deliver cutting-edge care and are a catalyst for innovation, supporting pioneering clinical practice in the NHS.

Specialised services are not available in every local hospital because they have to be delivered by specialist teams of doctors, nurses and other health professionals who have the necessary skills and experience. Unlike most healthcare, which is planned and arranged locally, specialised services are planned nationally and regionally by NHS England.

In total, there are 146 specialised services directly commissioned by NHS England. This may change for those services identified as potentially benefiting from being commissioned on an STP or multiple-STP footprint or collaborative commissioning with CCGs.

Four factors determine whether NHS England commissions a service as a prescribed specialised service. These are:        

  • The number of individuals who require the service;
  • The cost of providing the service or facility;
  • The number of people able to provide the service or facility and
  • The financial implications for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) if they were required to arrange for provision of the service or facility themselves.

The budget for specialised services – £16.6 billion in 2017-18 – has increased more rapidly than in other parts of the NHS, but it is under pressure. The number of patients needing specialised services is rising due to an ageing population and advances in medical technology.

NHS England has a legal duty to fund certain new medicines and devices recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), but also makes available additional funding each year for other new treatments.   The three stage approach used for making decisions about which new treatments and interventions to routinely commission is described in their service development policy.

Doctors, other healthcare professionals, and patient and public representatives are involved at every stage of this decision-making process.

Dermatology Specialised Services Locations

The following links contain a list of all known providers of specialised services for dermatology published on the prescribed services.  Please note:  these lists do not include the sub specialist treatments which a specialist centre may be commissioned to provide.  These will vary from centre to centre based on population need and access to specialist dermatologists.

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