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Healthcare Professionals

Independent Funding Request (IFR)

Individual funding requests (or IFRs) are made to NHS England by clinicians when they believe that a patient’s clinical circumstances are exceptional and because of this, they would benefit from a treatment that isn’t usually available on the NHS. Applications are considered by an independent panel made up of doctors, nurses, public health experts, pharmacists, NHS England representatives and lay members. To find out more about what an IFR is, watch our short animation.

More detailed information about IFRs and how decisions are made is available in our patient guide and process map.

NHS England’s policy and standard operating procedure, which are used for decision making in the case of IFRs, are below:

These documents were consulted on with the public, and a range of other stakeholders, between October 2016 and March 2017. The aim of the revised IFR documents is to make sure there is a timely and consistent approach to managing requests.

You can read the detailed consultation response, which provides a summary of the key themes identified and how these have shaped the new policy and supporting documentation.

Healthcare professionals wishing to submit an IFR should send the completed application form and any supporting documents to:


Patients not qualifying for Independent Funding Requests

NHS England directly commissions specialised services for the whole population of England to ensure that everyone has access to treatments and services which are effective and a good use of NHS resources. Clinical policies are used to determine the commissioning position on new treatments and technologies for patients or revise existing treatments and technologies. They form a critical part of NHS contracts and hold providers (hospitals, healthcare providers) to account for the treatment they deliver to patients. Clinical policies are developed via the work of the Clinical Reference Groups (CRGs) following a standard process called the Clinical Policy Pipeline. Further information on the Clinical Policy Pipeline can be found in Appendix A of NHS England’s ‘Methods: National Clinical Policies’ guidance.

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