Senate Advice

The Clinical Senate is a non-statutory clinical advisory body, established to provide clinical leadership and independent clinical advice to commissioners within the Thames Valley.

Purpose of clinical senates

  • to support commissioners to make the best decisions about health care for the populations
  • to bring together a range of health and social care professionals, with patients, to take an overview of health and healthcare for local populations.
  • to provide a source of strategic, independent clinical advice and leadership on how services should be designed to provide the best overall care and outcomes for patients
  • to provide clinical advice to inform the NHS England service change assurance process

In considering requests for advice, the Clinical Senate takes a strategic view across the Thames Valley, and wider where this appropriate for patient pathways, and considers topics on a whole system basis to ensure that across the geography:

  • services will be sustainable
  • service change is based on a clear clinical evidence base
  • services will be accessible and of a high quality enhancing the patient experience
  • any proposed service change clearly articulates the benefits to patients

Requests can be considered from other stakeholders within the Thames Valley if they met a strategic need and if there is commissioner support for the topic.

From its knowledge base, the Clinical Senate Council may also proactively develop a topic that it considers to be strategic, cross-cutting, important, relevant and would promote improved quality and safety of care.

As of September 2014, clinical senates have a formal role in providing clinical advice to inform the NHS England service change assurance process