About us and how we work

About the Clinical Networks

Clinical Networks bring together service users and those who provide and commission the service to make improvements in outcomes for complex patient pathways using an integrated, whole system approach.

Established in 2013 as a result of the policy documents Clinical Networks: The way forward (July 2012) and Clinical Networks: Single Operating Framework (November 2012) the Clinical Networks serve in key areas of major health and wellbeing challenge, currently:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular
  • Maternity
  • Mental health, dementia and neurological conditions

An End of Life and Palliative Care programme of work runs across these network areas.

Combining the experience of clinicians, the input of patients and the organisational vision of NHS staff, the West Midlands Clinical Networks have been able to work together, across the region, on large programmes of quality improvement in the above areas of major healthcare challenge. Through greater collaboration between providers across different levels of the system, we support the development of best value care pathways with long lasting improvements in quality across all settings of care (community, primary, secondary and tertiary care). We aim to raise standards, ensuring equitable high quality care, achieving the best outcomes for our population now and for future generations. We do this by bringing the right people and expertise together to help drive improvements.

The West Midlands Clinical Networks are hosted by NHS England and are a non-statutory body. However, we are able and, indeed, charged with adopting whole system approaches to healthcare design, working with both commissioners to reduce service variations as well as with providers across complex pathways of care. Clinical Networks provide the opportunity to focus on identified health issues from a broad strategic perspective. We play a key role for commissioners, supporting their decision making and strategic planning, by working across the boundaries of commissioning and provision as a vehicle for improvement for patients, carers and the public. In this way, the West Midlands Clinical Networks help to:

  • reduce unwarranted variation in health and wellbeing care services
  • encourage innovation in how services are provided now and in the future
  • provide clinical advice and leadership to support their decision making and strategic planning

Each Network programme of work comprises of Clinical Director(s), a Head of Network and is supported by generic project teams. The work plan for each Network is guided by the National Health and Social Care National Deliverables and driven by the Clinical Directors and relevant Expert Advisory Groups (EAGs).

Area covered

The West Midlands Clinical Networks geographical area spans two DCO footprints (West Midlands DCO and part of the North Midlands DCO), includes six STPs, 22 CCGs and a population of 5.7 million.