NHS approves total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation
Funding has been approved for total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT) by NHS England from April 2019.
The surgical procedure, made available under Highly Specialised Commissioning, was developed to help relieve the intense pain of chronic pancreatitis, a condition that causes long-standing inflammation of the pancreas.
The pancreas is removed but some of its hormone producing cells, known as islets, are then transplanted into the person’s liver where they continue to produce the insulin needed to help control blood sugar.
The procedure can dramatically improve the patient’s quality of life and will also alleviate pressure on local commissioning budgets and services through helping with long-term pain management.
Dr Rob Gregory, from the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD), said: “This offers the prospect of preventing or at least ameliorating diabetes in this highly complex group of patients and is to be welcomed.”
Several other innovative treatments are also being made available, which were announced just days after the health service celebrates its 70th birthday.
The move is the result of NHS England’s latest specialised commissioning prioritisation process. All the proposed new treatments were independently assessed for their clinical benefit and cost by the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) made up of doctors, health experts and patient representatives.
The treatments are grouped into five levels of priority, with those that cost less and offer more clinical benefit for people, relative to the other treatments being considered classified as level one, and treatments with the lowest relative clinical benefit and highest cost placed in the lowest category (level five). TPIAT was placed in Level 3.
A provider selection process will be held before April to identify a small network of specialised units that will undertake the procedure for NHS patients.
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