Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG)

The Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) makes recommendations on NHS England’s approach to commissioning services, treatments and technologies, and considers which of these should be prioritised for investment. Its scope includes all specialised services of NHS England.

CPAG assesses drugs, medical devices and treatments according to their clinical effectiveness, benefit for patients and value for money. It considers recommendations from Clinical Reference Groups (CRGs) and teams covering NHS England’s specialised commissioning responsibilities, and takes into account detailed information about the financial impact.

It seeks to determine that commissioning approaches have:

  • been developed with the engagement of clinicians from Clinical Reference Groups or bespoke Working Groups
  • been developed with public and patient engagement to a level proportionate with the impact of the decision
  • included consideration of the need to promote equity of access and tackle health inequalities
  • been informed by the evidence base
  • considered consistency with other commissioning policies of NHS England.

CPAG is not a decision-making body, rather it makes formal recommendations to NHS England about the commissioning of services in those circumstances where there could be a substantial change in service provision. With specialised services, the governance structure sees CPAG’s recommendations considered by the Specialised Commissioning Oversight Group (SCOG) to determine the available resources and the commissioning implications of the service change­­­­. Ultimately, decisions are made and overseen by the Specialised Commissioning Committee (SCC), a subgroup of the NHS England Board.


CPAG is able to call on the full range of expertise of its members to make recommendations: its independent chair, patient and public voice representatives and members with clinical, commissioning and financial expertise. As and when appropriate, CPAG engages with other NHS commissioners and stakeholders, such as clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), and calls on sources of sound evidence from outside the NHS, professional bodies, and other relevant organisations.


  • Sir Nick Partridge, Chair
  • Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, Deputy Chair
  • Cathy Edwards, Operational Delivery Director, Specialised Commissioning
  • Andy Leary, Director of Finance, Specialised Commissioning
  • Teresa Fenech, Director of Nursing and Quality Assurance, Specialised Commissioning
  • Michael Marsh, Regional Clinical Director (London) Specialised Commissioning
  • Geraldine Linehan, Regional Clinical Director (Midlands & East) Specialised Commissioning
  • Catherine O’Connell, Regional Director (Midlands & East) Specialised Commissioning
  • Allison Streetly, Public Health England Representative
  • Jenny Harries, Regional Director Public Health England
  • Lucy Frith, Medical Ethicist
  • Fiona Barber, Patient and Public Voice Member
  • Jane Dalton, Patient and Public Voice Member
  • Nason Maani, Patient and Public Voice Member
  • Olive Hamilton-Andrews, Patient and Public Voice Member

In attendance:

  • James Palmer, Clinical Director of Specialised Commissioning (Ex Officio)
  • David Black, Deputy Clinical Director of Specialised Commissioning (Ex Officio)
  • Donna Hakes, Head of Clinical Effectiveness, Specialised Services (Ex Officio)
  • Judith Bell, Public Health Lead, Clinical Effectiveness, Specialised Commissioning
  • Ann Jarvis, Head of Acute Programmes of Care, Specialised Commissioning
  • Fiona Marley, Head of Highly Specialised Commissioning
  • Malcolm Qualie, Pharmacy Lead, Specialised Commissioning
  • The Specialised Commissioning Programme of Care Senior Manager relevant to the policy or other proposals being considered
  • Ursula Peaple, Senior Manager Internal Medicine
  • Nicola McCulloch, Senior Manager Cancer
  • Richard Eccles, Senior Manager Mental Health
  • Jacquie Kemp, Senior Manager Trauma
  • Anthony Prudhoe, Senior Manager Women and Children
  • Claire Foreman, Senior Manager, Blood and Infection
  • Katy Anderton, Business Manager, Clinical Effectiveness Team, Specialised Commissioning


  • Representatives from the Devolved Nations
  • Teresa Magirr, Northern Ireland
  • Mike Winter Scotland
  • Sian Lewis, Wales