Referral in Scotland

There are three Centres of Excellence in England which treat patients with Behçet’s syndrome/disease that English patients can be referred to for diagnosis, care and treatment.  These are managed by multidisciplinary teams of health professionals who have experience of treating Behçet’s.  Unfortunately, there are no centres like this in Scotland but Scottish patients can be referred to one of these centres by their hospital consultant and GP.

Funding for referral needs to be approved by the patient’s own Health Board (Scotland has 14 Health Boards).  Once referral has been approved, the referral must be submitted to the NSD (National Services Division) based in Edinburgh.  NSD funds services that are only provided in England but can be accessed by Scottish patients.  Central funding for this service comes from a contribution from Scottish Health Boards for access to specialist services that are provided on a UK basis.  NSD also manages a pool of funds known as a “risk share” scheme to pay for individual patient referrals.

Once a patient from Scotland has had a referral to one of the Centres of Excellence, any treatment recommended becomes the responsibility of the NHS health board of the patient’s place of residence.

The Centres of Excellence are based in three locations: Liverpool, Birmingham and London.  Patients will have the choice of which centre they wish to attend.

In summary, NSD only funds treatment in England if:

  • The treatment is specialised and is included within the UK Prescribed list of specialised services (see link below)
  • The treatment is provided by the NHS in England (not a private health care provider or a referral from abroad)
  • The service is not available in Scotland
  • The referral is from an appropriate specialist consultant in Scotland who has treated the patient

Decisions on funding are made on an individual basis by a virtual panel comprising of the Medical Director, Nursing Quality Advisor and the NSD Director.  Please refer to the list of nationally funded services accessed 20 August 2019. Behçet’s is listed on page 6.

Further information for your GP or clinician on Specialised Services in England for residents of Scotland can be found here:  https://www.nsd.scot.nhs.uk/services/specialised/index.html accessed 20 August 2019.