IPFR review backs Plaid policy– Government must implement findings to give Welsh patients fair play


Independent review recommends abolition of “exceptionality” in individual patient Requests

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth today welcomed the publication of the independent review into the Individual Patient Funding Request System (IPFR). The independent review was a key concession the party won from Labour last year following the assembly election. The review backs Plaid Cymru on a number of areas:

• That the criteria of patients having to demonstrate ‘exceptionality’ should be abolished.
• That far more national consistency is required through the process,
• That the process itself needed to be less bureaucratic, and more widely understood.

Access to medicines has long been a controversial area of Welsh politics, with media reports of patients being denied access to treatments a regular occurrence in recent years. The greatest concern has been within the IPFR system, where a postcode lottery has existed within Wales, with cases of patients approved for treatments in one LHB, but not in another.

Plaid Cymru made the reform of this IPFR system a key manifesto commitment.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet secretary for Health, Rhun ap Iorwerth, said:

“Patients in Wales will be pleased to learn that the review agrees with Plaid Cymru that the process of patients having to demonstrate exceptionality should end, and we welcome the proposal for it to be abolished.

“Replacing this test with a test that patients will get ‘significant clinical benefit’ will help more patients obtain the treatment they need. We are also pleased that the review agrees with Plaid Cymru that there have been too many inconsistencies in the past between health boards in Wales, and believe that the review’s proposals for a National Quality Function to monitor panels and with a duty to report inconsistencies will help address this.

“This results of the review demonstrates that Plaid Cymru was right to insist on the review taking place as part of our post-election agreement with Welsh Government

“The review also makes a number of other recommendations to improve the process and thus ensure more patients get the treatments they need. We will be monitoring the Welsh Government’s response to this report carefully. No patient in Wales should ever be denied potentially lifesaving treatment because of bureaucratic hoops and a poorly understood process”

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