About us

Clinical Networks have been working in one form or another across Northern England from at least since 2006, bringing together clinicians and healthcare staff from different services, organisations, sectors and geographies to drive improvement in the quality and equity of healthcare for its 3.1 million population.

Combining the experience of clinicians, the input of patients and the organisational vision of NHS staff, Clinical Networks are non-statutory advisory groups that exist to:

  • Support the delivery of the life-course programmes and clinical priorities outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan within the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS)
  • Reduce unwarranted variation in health outcomes and health inequalities
  • Support the development of clinically sustainable services
  • Encourage innovation in how services are provided now and in the future
  • Provide clinical advice and leadership to support decision making and strategic planning

There are several types of networks that come together under the banner of the Northern England Clinical Networks – each with their own funding, staffing and governance arrangements – but all working towards the same goals of improving outcomes and reducing health inequalities.

Nationally mandated Clinical Networks

Some of the Clinical Networks across Northern England are mandated by NHS England.  They are aligned to national clinical priorities outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan and they work into the relevant workstreams of the North East and North Cumbria ICS:

  • Mental Health and Dementia (including Children and Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing
  • Maternity
  • Cardiovascular Disease (incorporating cardiac, stroke and vascular)
  • Diabetes

Local Professional Networks

LPNs are hosted and supported by NHS England’s regional teams. They are part of a family of Clinical Networks across the commissioning and provider services that are working with NHS England, as a catalyst for positive change in the NHS:

  • Local Eye Health Network – sits alongside the mandated Clinical Networks
  • Local Pharmacy Network – sits within the Primary Care Commissioning Team of NHS England
  • Local Dental Network – sits within the Primary Care Commissioning Team of NHS England

Locally determined and affiliated Networks

In addition to the nationally mandated networks, some Networks are locally determined but hosted by NHS England: North (Cumbria and the North East). By bringing together nationally mandated and locally defined networks, we can better ensure that our work is complimentary, mutually supportive and based on the needs of patients, rather than silos based on service delivery.

  • Northern England Learning Disability Network
  • Northern England Child Health and Wellbeing Network
  • Northern England Lipids Network 
  • Northern England End of Life Network

Partner Networks

The Northern England Clinical Networks work very closely in partnership with the Northern Cancer Alliance:

  • Northern Cancer Alliance (NCA) – using the predecessor Northern Cancer Network as a starting point, the NCA was founded in 2017.

The Northern England Clinical Networks also work closely with the range of Operational Delivery Networks. These managed networks ensure the delivery of safe and effective services across the patient pathway and help secure the best outcome for patients:

  • Northern England Neonatal Network
  • Northern England Trauma Network
  • Northern England Critical Care Network

How we fit in the system

The Northern England Clinical Networks cover the North East, North Cumbria, and Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby in North Yorkshire. This makes us co-terminous with both the North East and North Cumbria ICS and the Northern England Specialised Commissioning hub of NHS England

The Northern England Clinical Networks feed into the local governance arrangements of the North East and North Cumbria ICS and support many of the transformation workstreams that the ICS oversee.

Our stakeholders 

Northern England Clinical Networks engage and work with a wide range of organisations and groups

The list below is not exhaustive but gives a selection of the organisations we work with:

  • NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • NHS Provider trusts
  • The Third & Voluntary Sector and the Independent Sector
  • NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • The North East and North West Ambulance Services
  • Local authorities
  • Academic Health Science Network
  • Public Health England
  • Health Education England
  • National improvement programmes such as RightCare and Get It Right First Time
  • FRESH (smoking cessation) and Balance (alcohol awareness)
  • Research Networks
  • Education Providers