As part of the now familiar changes to the Health and Social Care Act 2012, commissioning of NHS services will be the responsibility of clinical commissioning groups except where the service is prescribed in legislation. Prescribed services will be commissioned by the NHS Commissioning Board. The Clinical Advisory Group for Prescribed Services was established to offer advice on the initial list of such services, and considered those within the current list of specialised services and those removed in the most recent revision of its recommendations.

The final recommendations propose prescription of virtually all the services that were commissioned through specialised commissioning groups. They have identified three patterns into which these services fall:

  • Services where the entire patient pathway are to be prescribed
  • Services where care provided by specialist and highly specialist centres are to be prescribed
  • Services where procedures or facilities are prescribed

Notwithstanding the list, they highlight the need for co-operation between clinical commissioning groups and the NHS Commissioning Board particularly where a patient pathway crossed the two commissioning bodies with separate budgets applying.