In 2017, the British Medical Journal published an article concerning individual funding requests in which the author was critical of CCG IFR decision making. It is likely that the dataset used in this analysis included prior approvals. This is because some CCGs classify this group of funding requests under a generic label of ‘individual funding requests’. However, prior approvals and IFRs should not be conflated as they serve different purposes and as such are fundamentally different in nature. We are seeking data to conduct an analysis using the correct dataset. Once this has been completed the results will be reported back to CCGs. We would therefore hope to get a 100% return to provide a complete picture across England.
We are seeking information only on individual funding requests or exceptional funding requests which form part of the CCGs priority setting processes. These are applications for patients to be considered for funding for a treatment or service which is not normally commissioned. These applications usually have a dedicated IFR application form and are subject to the CCGs individual funding request policy.
Prior approval applications should not be included as they form part of compliance monitoring processes.
Some CCGs have a conversion form for patients who do not meet the prior approval criteria and are therefore ‘converted’ into an IFR request – for which there may be a separate IFR application form. The converted requests should be included if they are then processed under the IFR policy.
NHS Calderdale CCG’s response to your request can be found in the supplied PDF file (see below)
Please note that some of the information you have requested in response to question 12 is exempt under section 40 (2) (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please see Refusal Notice below.
Refusal Notice – Question 12 (Medical Devices)
Having undertaken an assessment of your request, as per the requirements of Section 1, 1(a) of the Freedom of Information Act, NHS Calderdale CCG confirms that it holds the information you have requested relating to medical devices at question 12. However, due to the low numbers, the CCG is unable to disclose the information requested as it is potentially patient identifiable. As such, we are issuing an exemption notice under section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides an absolute exemption where disclosure of personal data about someone other than the applicant would contravene any of the data protection principles. Consequently, the exemption is not subject to the public interest test