Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
What is specialised commissioning?
In the UK, almost 15% of the annual healthcare budget is set aside by the National Health Service (NHS) for specialised services. This significant resource (£14 billion last year) is directed towards a clearly defined pool of uncommon and complex conditions, and specifically supports small numbers of ‘centres of excellence’ with large catchment areas. In respiratory medicine, specialised commissioning has funded services for cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension for some years. However, variations in commissioning arrangements for other complex conditions have led to variable service provision. In 2013, NHS England (NHSE) produced service specifications for an additional set of respiratory conditions, including severe asthma1 (figure 1), and these have fuelled a good deal of debate.
Why specialised commissioning for asthma?
We all recognise asthma to be a major source of physical and psychological morbidity and of indirect and healthcare expenditure. Indeed, preventative inhaler therapy is the largest drug cost faced by the NHS. It came as little surprise to us that the recent National Review of Asthma Deaths revealed failings across the whole spectrum of asthma care,2 with this report and other publications (such as the NHS Atlas of Variation3) also highlighting disparities in outcomes …