The Carter Report recommended that the ten SCGs should eventually commission all those services defined by the Specialised Services National Definitions Set.
There are 35 specialised service definitions covered by the National Definitions Set.
The purpose of a definition is to identify the activity that should be regarded as specialised and therefore within the remit of PCT collaborative commissioning. A service is specialised if the planning population (ie. catchment area) for that service is greater that one million people. This means that a specialised service would not be provided by every hospital in England; generally, it would be provided by less than 50 hospitals.
Each definition is drawn up by a process involving providers (clinicians, hospital managers, and information and coding staff), commissioners, patients\' groups and the Department of Health. It is then endorsed by the relevant national organisations, signed off by the National Specialised Commissioning Group (NSCG) and published on the NSCG website.
To access the latest edition available of a particular definition please go to the NSCG website.