BACKGROUND: To determine the views of Clinical Directors working in the United Kingdom (U.K.) Cleft Service with regard to centralisation, commissioning and impact on cleft service provision.
METHODS: In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 11 Clinical Directors representing regional cleft services. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, a coding frame was developed by two researchers and transcripts were coded using a thematic, 'interpretive' approach.
RESULTS: Clinical Directors perceived the commissioning of cleft services in the U.K. to be dependent upon historical agreements and individual negotiation despite service centralisation. Furthermore, Clinical Directors perceived unfairness in the commissioning and funding of cleft services and reported inconsistencies in funding models and service costs that have implications for delivering an equitable cleft service with an effective Multidisciplinary Team.
CONCLUSIONS: National Health Service (NHS) commissioning bodies can learn lessons from the centralisation of cleft care. Clinical Directors' accounts of their relationships with specialist commissioning bodies and their perspectives of funding cleft services may serve to increase parity and improve the commissioning of cleft services in the U.K.
- Clinical directors
- Specialist services