In the NHS treatments and care for patients are provided free at the point of service. While in hospital and for certain categories of patient, medications are also free at the point of service. However, not all treatments and medications are routinely funded by the NHS. This is because the effectiveness of certain procedures and medications can vary amongst patients and in these cases can do more harm than good. It is also possible for the population to be given excessive healthcare that weakens its self-reliance and independence while receiving little or no healthcare benefit.
In addition, the NHS must make sure it is using its limited resources to maximum benefit for each patient it treats and the population it serves as a whole. It must also ensure it is using the most effective and accepted medical procedures. NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), as local guardians and commissioners of the NHS, must prioritise the services it is able to fund and commission. This means making decisions about which healthcare services will and will not be provided under the NHS in their area.
The eight Clinical Commissioning Groups in Lancashire (please see below) are working together to review their clinical policies. They are seeking to make clinical decisions and the individual funding request process consistent and fair across Lancashire. As part of this process clinical policies are being amended and updated and brought into line wherever possible across the CCGs. This includes reviewing the principles upon which all the policies are based.
The clinical commissioning groups in Lancashire are:
- NHS Lancashire North
- NHS East Lancashire
- NHS West Lancashire
- NHS Blackburn with Darwen
- NHS Fylde and Wyre
- NHS Blackpool
- NHS Greater Preston
- NHS Chorley and South Ribble