Single model for Strategic Clinical Networks will reduce variation in care

Sir Bruce Keogh, National Medical Director for the NHS Commissioning Board:

“The publication of the Single Operating Framework for Strategic Clinical Networks is a positive step towards strengthening continuity of care across a wider spectrum of health conditions. The new model set to be in place by April 2013 brings together management support and clinical leadership for mental health, dementia, neurological conditions, maternity and children, cancer and cardiovascular services.

“The primary purpose of these networks, which will work alongside local and operational delivery networks, is for clinicians to gather and share insight into treating conditions that are complex and offer treatment across a number of settings.  Hyper-acute stroke is one example of how this approach can work, by making recommendations for concentrated expertise and rapid access to services which save lives.

“The NHS Commissioning Board has agreed an investment of £42 million to support the new networks as part of driving up quality and consistency in treating these conditions.

“The Strategic Clinical Networks break down any silos between organisations, focusing on the patient, their experience and the outcome of treatment.  They will play an important part in ensuring consistency and promoting collaboration.

“This announcement enables recruitment to commence for leaders of the new Strategic Clinical Networks.

“They provide a great opportunity to improve outcomes for patients across the country for the big killers including cancer, heart disease and other significant areas of health and well-being in maternity and mental health.

“By creating a single operating system, patients will see the benefit of consistent standards of care and the use of the very latest evidence and technology to improve their lives.

”By working over the larger populations covered by senates Strategic Clinical Networks will be able to implement high cost, specialist treatments quickly: for example almost 8,000 cancer patients a year are set to benefit from the roll-out of an advanced radiotherapy technique with fewer side effects. This is being funded via the Cancer Radiotherapy Innovation Fund which will expand NHS capacity to deliver life-saving advanced radiotherapy techniques by April 2013 and which will be coordinated by cancer networks.”

Further information about Strategic Clinical Networks can be found in our frequently asked questions.