End of Sarcoma CRG

The NHS has rejected strong submissions that a separate Sarcoma Commissioning Reference Group (CRG) should be maintained and have decided to set up a single Cancer CRG with a minimum of one member with Sarcoma expertise.This flies in the face of Sarcoma UK’s opinion Help to save the sarcoma Clinical Reference Group which I strongly agree with.

Update: Statement from Sarcoma UK


Here are the relevant excerpts from the report, which can be found at Engagement Outcome Report

New Cancer Surgery CRG
Minimum 1 member with expertise in each of the following areas: Thoracic cancer, Upper GI cancer, Urological cancer, Gynaecological cancer, Sarcoma, Central Nervous System cancer and Head and Neck Cancer.

Consultation Issue
Strong representation for maintaining separate [Sarcoma] CRG.

You said We did
The majority of responses expressed concern with the placement of certain conditions in an overall CRG or an inappropriate group. A high number of responses showed concern that if proposed changes to merge CRGs are implemented, that existing inequalities will persist or get worse. The examples given most were sarcoma, which is experiencing inequalities because of its rarity, and cystic fibrosis, because of its complexity and difficulty of representing the patient population sufficiently. We believe the changes we have made as a result of the responses to the engagement guide will address these concerns – for example increasing clinical and PPV membership to ensure a broader range of expertise on each CRG. We will clarify how subgroups will be set up and used to ensure expertise in specific areas is retained where this is needed.
We believe that the additional resources and support we are allocating to support CRGs, the greater accountability that the payment of CRG chairs and PPV members brings and the use of subgroups where specialist expertise is required, will enhance access to care and help reduce inequalities.
Sarcoma should have a distinct CRG and not be included under the larger Cancer Surgery CRG We will continue with our proposals however we will ensure that at least one of the eight clinical members of the new CRG has expertise in sarcoma.

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