Local decision-making

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Guiding Principles

Defining Guiding Principles for Processes supporting Local Decision-making about Medicines

The NHS Constitution now gives patients the right to expect local decisions about the funding of medicines and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence.

Through elements of the Next Stage Review, the NHS Constitution and the Government¡¦s response to Professor Mike Richards' report about NHS patients who wish to pay for additional private drugs, the Department of Health has laid out what the public can expect from local decision-making on medicines.

Consequently, the Department of Health commissioned a number of national work streams, including the development of Guiding Principles to support PCTs in the development and refinement of their local processes and procedures for decision-making about medicines.

These Guiding Principles have now been launched by the Department of Health and are available on their website. These are also available on our website - to access them, click here.

The purpose of these Guiding Principles is to improve the consistency and quality of local decision-making on medicines and to reassure patients that there will be a common, rational framework within which such decisions should be made. Their development has been led by the National Prescribing Centre on behalf of the Department of Health. The development process included extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, and we are most grateful to all who have given their time to help with this work. The Guiding Principles by a Handbook of good practice guidance outlining the key steps in local decision-making processes, together with tools, checklists, fact sheets and practical local examples.

Together, the Guiding Principles and Handbook will be a key resource for PCTs to help them address the requirements set out in the NHS Constitution - and specifically responsibilities related to the following 'right':

Nationally approved treatments, drugs and programmes

"You have the right to expect local decisions on funding of other drugs and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence. If the local NHS decides not to fund a drug or treatment you and your doctor feel would be right for you, they will explain that decision to you."