​Individual funding requests for medical treatments that are not available in Lewisham


NHS Lewisham CCG is awarded a sum of money by the Government each year to pay for NHS services for people who are registered with doctors surgeries locally. Our role is to ensure 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 cystic fibrosis treatment. These, and treatments for other specialist medical conditions, are quite often expensive. As we have a set amount of funding to work with in Lewisham, difficult decisions sometimes have to be made about whether we are able to purchase some of these treatments.

Making an individual funding request in Lewisham for medical treatment on your behalf

Your doctor or hospital consultant is able to make an individual funding request on your behalf for medical treatment that falls outside of those available in Lewisham. Requests go to the Individual Funding Requests Team at NHS NEL 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 GP 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 England policy which sets out very clearly how we assess this and how our decisions are made. 

You will normally hear back within 20 working days of your individual funding request application 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:

The SEL Treatment Access Policy 2019/2020 sets out the treatments and procedures for which restricted access criteria have been agreed.

Correspondence should be sent to:

IFR Team
NHS NEL Commissioning Support Unit
3rd Floor
1 Lower Marsh
SE1  7NT

How to contact the south east London IFR team:

t: 020 3049 4154

e: nelcsu.selifr@nhs.net