The work is expected to lead to a suggested operating model for networks and proposals for the operation of senates.
The review will define the role of clinical networks and review their range, function and effectiveness. It will:
- map the current patterns of networks and assess the current level of resource associated with them
- define what is meant by ‘network’ and the role of potential models in the new system
- propose which clinical and professional areas require formal network.
Dr McLean, who is Medical Director of NHS Midlands, has established a small project group to oversee the development of proposals, working with network leads and co-ordinators to gather baseline information for the review.
‘In the listening events carried out as part of the Future Forum’s work, I heard widespread support for both the principle of networks and their operation in many areas, but also concerns about variations in effectiveness,’ said Dr McLean.
‘I expect this work to lead to a suggested operating model, or a set of operating models for networks, which the NHS Commissioning Board would consider once it is established as a special health authority later this year.’
Clinical senates are expected to bring together clinical leaders across broad areas of the country to give clinical leadership and expert advice for commissioning.
The development of draft proposals is being overseen by a core project group, working to co-produce proposals with a wider group including national clinical directors, GPs, policy leads, commissioners, academics, network teams, voluntary sector, patient groups and Royal Colleges.
‘I am keen to engage as widely as possible to develop proposals for the operation of clinical senates,’ said Dr McLean.
‘The listening exercise made clear how important clinical advice and leadership are in delivering improvement in health outcomes in the coming years – clinical senates and networks will be a key part of that.’