Guernsey’s health committee to extend treatment choice


Guernsey’s health committee is looking to address an “unacceptable” gap in the availability of drugs and treatments.

Currently one third of NHS approved medical treatments are unavailable to patients on the island.

The island’s top political committee, Policy and Resources, said it couldn’t afford the proposals at the moment, but would look for a way to fund it.

The costs of increasing access is expected to be in excess of £13m in the first two years.

Patients on Guernsey are unable to access 160 out of 480 drugs approved by NICE, the body which advises NHS England on effective medical treatments.

The Committee for Health and Social Care intends to take a “staged” approach to address the gap, prioritising the most “cost-effective” medicine.

‘Clear funding gap’

The committee’s president, Deputy Heidi Soulsby, described funding the increased provision of treatments as “one of the most difficult challenges” faced by the States of Guernsey.

“In offering a wider range of drugs and treatments we can help more people, particularly by extending and improving the lives of those with cancer and other serious illnesses,” she added.

According to Deputy Soulsby, improving treatment provision is prevented by the “clear funding gap” in health and social care on the island.

Guernsey’s top political committee, Policy and Resources said it was not possible to accommodate the significant costs in its current financial plans, but added it would investigate an “interim funding solution” to address the most cost-effective solutions.