NHS England to strengthen the patient voice on four clinical reference groups

NHS England is recruiting additional patient and carer members to four of its influential Clinical Reference Groups (CRGs).

An additional four representatives are being sought for each of the following CRGs:

The 75 specialised services CRGs are the primary source of clinical advice on the development and assurance of specialised services contract products (such as specifications and commissioning policies).  They bring together clinicians, commissioners, and Public Health experts with the patients and carers who use the relevant services. Members are volunteers who have a particular interest, knowledge or experience of a specific area of specialised healthcare and wish to contribute to its development.

Each of the CRGs have up to four patient and carer members on them, but the four CRGs described above are each recruiting up to an additional four representatives, bringing the total number on each group to eight.

James Palmer, Clinical Director for Specialised Services at NHS England, said: “Each of these CRGs are concerned with services which face a period of significant and substantial change, such as the congenital heart review, which is looking at the future provision of all congenital heart services across the country.”

“Given the scale of their work, we felt that it was important that we formally hear from as many patient voices as possible, to ensure that we consider a wide range of views. We felt that strengthening the patient voice on these particular groups was the best way of achieving that”.

Any new patient and members recruited to the four CRGs will be in place until the scheduled end of term for all current representatives, i.e. until June/July 2015.

Closing date for applications is 26 January 2014.

For further information about CRGs and how to apply to become a patient and carer member, please go to:


  1. Adam says:

    Dear NHS England,

    I am a hiv positive person and I am regularly visiting Leeds Gum clinic at LGI-Leeds.

    During my latest visit to the clinic I was informed that all hiv patients are going to be separated to another wing/department to ‘improve’ services.

    This initially sounds fine but I am very concerned for my privacy because everyone there in the waiting list will be hiv positive patient. Everyone will know why I am there and there may be someone from my street, family, a work colleague or anyone else who don’t really need to know about my health.

    I am not ready to share with other people about my private, health problems and I must urge for NHS England to take some action and don’t allow us to be segregated from other, non hiv patients.
    If they separate us from an ordinary people I am going to stop visiting and will obviously have to stop taking my medication. I am very determined not to disclose, neither share my hiv status with anyone!!!

    Many thanks

  2. Mike Harnor says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment. I like others got to hear this information with very little time to consider an application by the 26th January – which is a Sunday by the way. I needed more than the four working days still left after receipt.

    Whilst not one of Shirley’s megalomaniacs, over the years I have attained a lot of lay/patient representative engagement with NHS/DOH bodies locally and nationally (eg NICE, MHRA/CHM, NRES, SCNs etc) but nevertheless this did not get distributed widely enough to useful distribution points. And with links that open.

    Like so many of the new patient interest initiatives such as Healthwatch bodies there has been a danger of accessing ‘the same old’ etc.

  3. shirley says:

    The problem with PPG’s is that they are not accountable to anyone! Each group runs as it thinks fit with a few megalomaniacs at the helm!

    I hope CRG’s take this into account and ensure all patients have a voice that can be heard! It is great to see the work that is being done and hope the way forward is a positive one.