Cerebral palsy procedure among new treatments to be offered on NHS

All the proposed new treatments were independently assessed for their clinical benefit and cost (Peter Byrne/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Thousands of patients are to benefit from new innovative treatments that are to be made routinely available on the NHS, including one that will improve the mobility of children with cerebral palsy.

NHS England said selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a complex procedure aimed at relieving tight and stiff muscles for cerebral palsy sufferers, particularly in children, which can cause movement and balance problems.

The treatment can allow children who were previously unable to walk to become mobile and independent.

It involves operating on the nerves in the spine and has the potential to offer affected children improved mobility.

The procedure will be made available immediately in certain hospitals across England, with up to 300 patients expected to benefit.

Hundreds of patients each year will also be able to undergo a procedure called left atrial appendage occlusion, which reduces the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat), who cannot take blood-thinning medication.

It is expected that around 400 patients will be treated in the first year, building to more than 1,000 patients treated each year by year five.

Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for NHS England, said: “This is fantastic news for patients and their families.

“The new treatments that will be available on the NHS are the kind of innovations that the National Health Service has been delivering for the last 70 years and will continue to do so in the years to come.”

Patients with haemophilia will also benefit, with two new cutting-edge treatments to be introduced.

Emicizumab works in a new way to other treatments for bleeding disorders and represents a major breakthrough in treatment for this medical field.

Also available on the NHS will be susoctocog alfa for acquired haemophilia A, which stops bleeding and has proved to be highly effective in situations such as on the operating table, when other drugs have not worked.

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.