Date:14 October, 2013

Innovation Fund Suspended

Specialised Services Commissioning Innovation Fund Suspended.

James Palmer, National Clinical Director, Specialised Services at NHS England said:

“NHS England is extremely disappointed that we have had to make the difficult decision to suspend the fund. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to those who have invested time in submitting information.

“This has been NHS England’s first year as a direct commissioner of specialised services. In order to achieve a nationally consistent approach to commissioning, we have had to bring together differing regional and local approaches to contracting with providers; different sets of standards, and varying levels of access to services around the country. This has been a significant challenge.

“The scale of this work has resulted in a level of unplanned expenditure which we need to manage both this year and into the future. As a result we have had to look more closely at what we need to do to deliver our core business. This has meant we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with the SSCIF as this programme sits outside the mainstream commissioning responsibilities on which we need to focus. This has been a tough decision. We have taken it with great care having considered what is overall in the best interests of patients.

“There has been significant interest in the SSCIF from frontline clinicians in NHS and non-NHS providers, industry, patient groups, charities and others, which is evidence of a wealth of promising, innovative ideas. At NHS England we remain committed to both leading and facilitating the uptake and spread of innovation and will seek ways to reinstate the fund in future years.”