Oversight and Support System Organisations

Conditions which may not be funded on the NHS (HOSPITAL)

Some links on this page have been colour coded to make it easier to find the information you need:

Quick Read
Clinical level

LOW PRIORITY FUNDING for hospital care

The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) integrated care board suggest
“To make sure that the NHS can provide the best care for the maximum number of people it is vital that every penny is spent wisely. This means only funding treatments that have been demonstrated to work and where there is also a high likelihood of benefit for as many people as possible and a low likelihood of harm. We always must bear in mind that carrying out treatment that is not of great health benefit uses up resources that could be spent on really making a difference elsewhere.

We may decide that a treatment or procedure should not be routinely funded because:

Searching for treatments which usually will not be funded

There are 180 treatments, covered in commissioning policy statements, which will not usually be funded on the NHS, many of these relate to hospital care.

You can access the commissioning policy statements in two ways

Then as NHS South, Central and West (NHS SCW) suggest to search for a commissioning policy statement
Use the search box and “Type a word associated with the intervention you require and a limited list of policies and forms to be displayed. For example Assisted Conception would be displayed if any of the following is typed Assisted, Conception, IVF.”

If funding is to be considered then an Individual Funding Request (IFR) is required
An IFR is an application to fund healthcare that is not usually funded by the NHS. These requests are considered by an IFR Panel which considers evidence of clinical and cost-effectiveness, as well as equity for the whole population.

Finding the criteria
The criteria for funding are usually found in the “IFR application form “or similar form for each condition in the column for “process pathway“ in the table.

Unless the strict criteria are met then funding is not likely to be approved. The IFR committee does not meet often so there is generally a time delay before a funding decision is made. This is all explained further in the frequently asked questions about individual funding requests which are worth reading, see below.

Further information

Some common treatments which will usually not be funded are included below, as well as some frequently asked questions about “individual funding requests – IFR”

General treatments

Other conditions subject to restrictions include

  • Assisted conception services if female > 35 years old
  • Breast prosthesis removal and replacement – PIP Implants
  • Complementary and Alternative Therapies including: Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Hypnosis, Osteopathy, and Chiropractic
  • Facet Joint Injections & Medial Branch Blocks for chronic neck pain – Therapeutic
  • Female Sterilisation
  • Hernia (Umbilical):
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) (Willis-Ekbom disease)
  • Reversal of Female Sterilisation
  • Reversal of Male Sterilisation (vasectomy)
  • Varicose Veins

Aesthetic/ Cosmetic procedures

Aesthetic/ Cosmetic procedures includes

  • Aesthetic/Cosmetic Breast Surgery (e.g., Breast augmentation, female breast reduction, male breast reduction for gynaecomastia)
  • Benign skin lesions (i.e., non-cancerous skin lesions): Dermatofibromas (skin growths), Naevi (benign pigmented naevi, epidermal, haemangioma, moles, spider, congenital and port-wine, Sebaceous cysts (pilar and epidermoid cysts), Seborrhoeic keratosis (benign skin growths, basal cell papilloma, senile warts), Skin tags, Tattoo (removal or revision), Telangiectasia (HHT, spider veins and thread veins), Vitiligo, Warts (plantar including verrucae, filiform and common), Laser removal of skin lesions,
  • Lipoma and Lipomata (fat deposits underneath the skin)
  • Excess skin removal
  • liposuction,
  • Eyelid surgery (including Chalazia/ Meibomian Cysts)
  • Cosmetic nose surgery
  • Reconstruction/revision of nose surgery
  • reconstruction /revision of external ear (e.g., lobe repair)
  • aesthetic/cosmetic genital surgery (male or female),
  • treatments for hirsutismhair depilation,
  • electrolysis for hair removal,

IFR frequently asked questions

From the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board
Individual funding requests frequently asked questions (You need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the FAQs) Clinical Commissioning Policy Statements & IFRs | BOB ICB

Low priority treatments are not declined because of their relative importance to individual patients
Unfortunately, there is not enough money to fund every possible type of operation, procedure and medication so decisions have to be made as to what will be available for everyone and what has to be restricted.

From the NHS South, Central and West (NHS SCW)
Clinical Policy Implementation Service Clinical Policy Implementation Service – Clinical Policy Implementation Service (CPI) 

Options if your treatment is not funded by the NHS

If the treatment you want is not funded on the NHS and you want to proceed then there is further information on some aspects of private care, see under:

Conditions which may not be treated in general practice

Information on what treatments may not be offered in general practice, see under

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