Cancer care requires the commissioning of specialised cancer services; these are planned nationally and regionally and involve specialist teams. To ensure the best clinical outcomes for patients, in most instances specialised cancer surgery is only performed at a few specialist centres across the region. The centres support patients with complex conditions and enable pioneering treatment to be used.


There are five specialised cancer service areas: radiotherapy, chemotherapy, cancer surgery, PET-CT, children and young people's services.

Information on these can be found via the links below, including details on service specifications and clinical commissioning policies.

  • Radiotherapy (B01) - NHS England Specialised Commissioning is the responsible commissioner for all radiotherapy services across England, including for outpatient services. 
  • Chemotherapy (B02) - NHS England Specialised Commissioning commissions all chemotherapy services including drug procurement and delivery of chemotherapy. 
  • Specialised Cancer Surgery (B03) 
  • PET-CT - PET imaging or a PET scan, is a type of nuclear medicine imaging. This involves using small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose, evaluate and treat diseases in their earliest stages.
  • Children and Young People's Cancer Services (B05) - these specialist cancer services include all chemotherapy, radiotherapy, palliative care, long-term follow-up, specialist therapies and rehabilitation for children and young people. 

Commissioning of these services (negotiating contracts and procuring services based on a population needs assessment) requires clinical oversight and expertise.

The Cancer Alliance works with specialised commissioning for the development and delivery of specialised services. The Cancer Alliance aims to achieve improvement in quality, equity, value and outcomes of commissioned specialised services.​