Clinical Networks – what are they?
Clinical Networks (CNs) are hosted by NHS England and are non-statutory bodies. They adopt a ‘whole system’ approach to healthcare design, working with commissioners and providers of healthcare aiming to reduce variation and improve quality of care. The work programme of the CNs support NHS England National priorities, which includes many health initiatives to improve care, from diagnosis through to treatments, enabling a more patient-centred focus.
Clinical Networks focus on priority health care service areas to bring about improvement in the quality and equity of care and outcomes of their population, both now and in the future.
Clinical Networks bring together those who use, provide and commission the service to make improvements in outcomes for complex patient pathways using an integrated, whole system approach.
CNs provide the opportunity to focus on identified health issues from a broad strategic perspective. CNs work to create meaningful infrastructure to create this change. CNs support evidence based clinical decision-making and link with local commissioning intentions.
CNs offer the ability to develop best value care pathways with long lasting improvements in quality. CNs seek to develop both providers and commissioner and their relationships with one another, across all care settings (community, primary, secondary, tertiary care) to improve health outcomes through helping commissioners reduce unwarranted variation in services and encouraging innovation to deliver effective change to health care services through greater collaboration between providers and commissioners across different levels of the health care system.
Working in partnership with commissioners (including local government) CNs support decision making and strategic planning across organisational boundaries acting as a vehicle for improvement for patients, carers, commissioners, providers, voluntary organisations and the public.
- Advise on standards of care
- Advise on care pathways
- Engine for change across complex system of care
- Whole system improvement
- Honest broker and critical friend
- Harness clinical leadership
- Create a forum to plan ahead