NHS proposals July 2017: have your say

Show sub-pages

Breast reconstruction after cancer

This survey is now closed, thank you for your feedback. We are reviewing all of the feedback received and further information will be published here soon.

We are fully committed to funding reconstructive surgery for women affected by breast cancer. This includes supporting up to three operations, in the 5 years after treatment, to the breast affected by cancer. We propose applying the existing policy of not funding cosmetic surgery to the unaffected breast.

This will bring the funding of breast surgery for patients who have had breast cancer in line with those patients who have not. For example, patients who have developed breasts with a significant size difference do not routinely qualify for surgery to correct the asymmetry.

This proposal will increase hospital capacity for diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, including reconstructive surgery to the affected breast. In doing so, we hope to shorten the time patients wait for treatment.

Although this is an existing policy, the proposal would amount to a change in the current practice, in terms of the local cancer clinical pathway*. Therefore we would like to hear your views.

*a systematic way of treating and managing diseases in the NHS. A clinical pathway outlines the way a patient should be cared for through the NHS system from first presentation, followed by testing and diagnosis and through to completion of treatment.

Jargon Buster

Criteria Based Access [CBA] – Where a CCG has published a policy setting out eligibility criteria. If clinicians are content that the patient meets the criteria, they may proceed to treat without seeking funding approval.

Prior Approval [PA] – Where a CCG has published a policy setting out eligibility criteria. Clinicians, where they feel patients meet the criteria, must seek funding approval from the commissioners prior to treating.

Individual Fund Request [IFR] – Where a CCG has published a policy stating that certain treatments are not routinely funded. Treatment will only be funded via agreement from commissioners in exceptional circumstances

Clinical pathway – A systematic way of treating and managing diseases in the NHS. A clinical pathway outlines the way a patient should be cared for through the NHS system from first presentation, followed by testing and diagnosis and through to completion of treatment.