The Department of Health has issued guidance on commissioning arrangements for specialised services. NHS England (formerly NHS Commissioning Board) has assumed responsibility for commissioning the nationally defined specialised services from 2013. Medical genetics is included in specialised services commissioning arrangements.
Specialised services form part of the continuum of care provided to people who require health services. They should therefore always be commissioned in the context of the overall NHS and for specific services in the context of the relevant care pathway. They should be subject to the same financial scrutiny as other health services and will need to demonstrate value for money. Specialised services, however, do have features that are different from other health services, such as the use of leading edge technologies, which create particular financial pressures that need to be acknowledged.
UKGTN does not directly commission services. Its role is to advise on policy development to support the commissioning function and provide assurance that network laboratories meet quality standards to provide safe, high quality and sustainable services for patients and their families. The commissioning advice is primarily for NHS England, but is shared with commissioning colleagues from other UK countries who participate on the UKGTN Clinical Scientific Advisory Group.
UKGTN reports that support or inform the commissioning of genetics services in the NHS are available here.