What Does the Duty on PCTs to Give Reasons for an Individual Treatment Decision Mean in Practice?

Mon, 18 Apr 2011

By David Lock QC
When a patient makes a request for the Primary Care Trust to fund a treatment which is not routinely funded, most PCTs place the application before a specialist panel to take those decisions. These panels have a variety of names including “IFR Panel”, “Exceptional Cases Panel” or “Individual Cases Panel”. However the panel (which I shall refer to as an IFR Panel) has the unenviable job of deciding whether treatment should be funded for an individual patient when it is not funded under general PCT policies for other patients in a similar clinical condition. They are also used where the PCT is being asked to make an individual decision for treating a medical condition which is so rare that the PCT does not have a policy.
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