Our response focused on the potential health inequalities that might result from the implementation of the proposals in the consultation.
We highlighted the diversity of Birmingham in particular, the deprivation which is higher than the national average and the prosperity gap between the most affluent and least affluent people in Birmingham. All of which needs to be considered in the implementation of the proposals. We also expressed concern with the short engagement period on the draft recommendations which prevented any local analysis, and consideration of the local population needs. Consequently, there was no time given for meaningful clinical and public engagement. Also of concern was the timing of the consultation, which was at a time when the country was entering into stage 3 of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
We asked that there is consideration of the effect of the proposals on the quality of life of patients when symptoms do not reach the threshold for treatment. We also highlighted the need for clear patient education and communication on the new changes and a clear method for reviewing the impact of proposals on patients post implementation.
The EBI Phase 2 procedures and diagnostics will be included in the clinical prioritization programme. However, the 31 recommendations in this consultation are not yet a requirement for providers.