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CCGs to quit funding GP referrals to hip arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy procedures will no longer be funded in any of the six CCGs in Lancashire, following a consultation on the procedure.

According to the new policy, there is insufficient evidence that the procedure, which involves inserting a small camera into the hip joint, is clinically effective.

Board papers from NHS Blackpool CCG, one of the six CCGs to adopt the policy, said: ‘This policy relies on the criterion of effectiveness as the CCG considers:

  • there is insufficient evidence upon which to draw firm conclusions regarding the long-term effectiveness of endoscopic procedures on the hip joint cavity.
  • with regards to safety, there are well recognised complications associated with the procedure.’

The papers add: ‘The commissioning organisation operates within a system of fixed budgets and unmet healthcare need and is under a duty not to exceed this annual financial allocation.

‘It seeks to make the best use of the public resources available to it; therefore prioritisation of interventions is required.’

This comes after NHS Morecambe Bay CCG, another of the six Lancashire CCGs, filed a ‘deficit of £4,341k against a planned deficit of £909k, which is consistent with the year end forecast reported to the Governing Body’.

A spokesperson for the CCGs said the new policy is part of ‘a policy harmonisation process within Lancashire and South Cumbria’.

They added: ‘The one CCG that did fund this procedure, Blackpool CCG, has agreed that the clinical evidence does not support the routine funding of this procedure and as part of the harmonisation process has adopted the policy that brings it into line with all the other CCGs in the area.’

They said: ‘The clinical policy adopted by all the CCGs in Lancashire and South Cumbria allows submissions via Individual Funding Requests where clinicians feel their patient is an exception to the rule and funding of this procedure should be allowed in their case.’


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