Clinical Senates and Strategic Clinical Networks

Clinical Senates and Strategic Clinical Networks

There are 12 Clinical Senates in England, hosted by NHS England. They provide independent advice and strategic guidance to commissioners to bring about the best decisions about healthcare for the populations they represent.

They are comprised of a core Clinical Senate Council and a wider Clinical Senate Assembly or Forum. The Clinical Senate Council is a small multi-professional steering group. This group co-ordinates and manages the Senate’s business. It will maintain a strategic overview across their region and be responsible for the formulation and provision of advice working with the broader Senate Assembly or Forum.

Clinical Senates do not focus on a specific health condition, instead they bring together professionals from a wide range of different health and care specialisms with the aim of improving the overall healthcare provided in the region. This is achieved through collaborating with and providing strategic advice to commissioning organisations on improving and developing healthcare provision.

Professionals sitting on Clinical Senates do so as independent advisers, i.e. they do not represent an employer or a professional body or specialism.

How do Clinical Senates work?

At the heart of each Clinical Senate is its Council (15-45 members), which meets 4-6 times a year to give advice on questions and topics put to the Senate by its regional commissioners. Questions are usually of strategic importance and advice is based on what is best for patients across the region.

Council members are drawn from a Senate Assembly as well as patient, carer and public groups. The Senate Assembly meets annually and will have 100+ members who are health and social care professionals.

For more information on Clinical Senates, including how to get involved in the work of your local Senate and local contact details, visit the NHS England website.

Strategic Clinical Networks

Strategic Clinical Networks focus on priority service areas to bring about improvement in the quality and equity of care and outcomes of their population, both now and in the future. They support large-scale change across complex pathways of care, where coordinated, combined improvement approaches are required to overcome particular healthcare challenges.

Strategic Clinical Networks work in partnership with commissioners (including local government), supporting their decision-making and strategic planning, by working across the boundaries of commissioner, provider and voluntary organisations as a vehicle for improvement for patients, carers and the public.

Strategic Clinical Networks focus on four condition areas:

  1. Cardiovascular (including cardiac, stroke, renal and diabetes);
  2. Maternity, Children and Young People;
  3. Mental Health, Dementia and Neurological Conditions
  4. Cancer.

Each region may develop other Strategic Clinical Networks depending on local need.

The networks also work on cross-cutting themes aligned to the domains of the NHS Outcomes framework

  • Prevention
  • Rehabilitation
  • Parity of Esteem
  • Transition
  • Urgent and Emergency Care
  • End of Life Care
  • Integration

For more information on Strategic Clinical Networks and local contact details, visit the NHS England website.

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