Individual funding requests for non-standard medical treatments


Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is awarded a sum of money by the Government each year to pay for healthcare for everyone who is registered with doctors surgeries in the borough. Our role is to ensure that we buy the best healthcare services for our patients, providing value for money and improving health and wellbeing.

In the ever-evolving world of healthcare, new treatments are becoming available all the time, for example cancer drugs, cystic fibrosis treatment or specialised mental health services. These, and treatments for other specialist medical conditions, are quite often expensive. As we have a set amount of funding to work with, difficult decisions sometimes have to be made about whether we are able to purchase some of these treatments.

South East London Treatment Access Policy

The policy is reviewed and updated on an annual basis. We have now completed our most recent review, updating the evidence and drawing on input from local clinical  staff. We have also incorporated procedures from:  

  • The Evidence-Based Interventions Programme which was established and developed between five national partners: the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, NHS Clinical Commissioners, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as well as NHS England and Improvement
  • London Choose Wisely which is a clinically-led review of evidence for a set of surgical procedures, looking to ensure they are used consistently across London and their use follows a criteria that ultimately improves the health of patients

Following this review we will be making some changes to the south east London Treatment Access Policy which will be incorporated from 1 April 2019. 

SEL Treatment Access Policy 2019.pdf 

The policy will be monitored by Clinical Commissioning Groups across south east London.  

If you have any specific questions please contact the Individual Funding Requests team

Making an individual funding request for medical treatment on your behalf

Your GP or hospital consultant is able to make an individual funding request on your behalf for medical treatment that falls outside of those available in Southwark. Requests go to the Individual Funding Requests Team at NHS South London Commissioning Support Unit. The following are considered on a case-by-case basis:

  • medical treatments that are new, novel, developing or unproven and are not normally available for any patients in England 
  • medical treatments that are provided by us in very specific clinical circumstances and not all patients with the medical condition meet these criteria (for example, a request for varicose vein treatment).

When making your individual funding request application, your doctor or hospital consultant will need to provide evidence of why they feel your request has exceptional clinical circumstances. We understand this may be difficult to define for each patient and so we follow the NHS policy which sets out very clearly how we assess this and how our decisions are made. 

You will normally hear back within 10 working days of your request being received to let you know what will happen next. 

Sometimes, your doctor will be asked for more information and we ask them to provide this as quickly as possible.

Further information

Correspondence should be sent to:  
IFR Team
NHS South East Commissioning Support Unit
3rd Floor
1 Lower Marsh
SE1  7NT

How to contact us
t: 020 3049 4154/4388
f: 020 3049 4173