The basis of any major service change or reconfiguration must be that the change will improve the quality of care, that it is clinically led and that is based on a clear clinical evidence base. Service change is often highly complex and attracts high levels of public interest so it is important that schemes are appropriately assured so that communities can be reassured that schemes are of a high quality, align with best practice and will deliver the benefits expected.
The principles of the assurance are that it should be robust, consistent and supportive.
NHS England has a role to support and assure both the development of proposals and the cases for change proposed by commissioners. Clinical Senates support this role by responding to requests to review a service change proposal against the four tests from the Government’s Mandate to NHS England and the best practice checks that relate to clinical quality.