1 May 2012

Clinical Senates’ Key Role to Protect and Foster Localism

In a speech at the Westminster Health Forum – Developing clinical senates and networks: commissioning, integration and efficiency – to be held today in London, Dr Donal Hynes, co-vice chair of the NHS Alliance, will reiterate the need for clinical senates and networks to support CCG’s localism.

According to Dr Hynes, clinical senates should act as a support mechanism for CCGs, rather than undermine their autonomy, by bringing together the clinical community over a relatively wide area to discuss and implement service reconfiguration.

He says: “If clinical senates and networks feel that they need to ‘control’ CCGs, we will be then recreating a top down bureaucratic structure that will undermine CCG’s localism.”

“Local decision-making should remain strongly in the hands of clinical commissioners and their population. Clinical senates and networks should be able to respond to and work with CCGs, without imposing their views on the localities. This is a new approach that will require a different type of leadership, one that is not dominated by specialists trying to protect the current structure in secondary care.

“CCGs will play a key role in delivering integrated care for patients and responding to local needs, whilst ensuring that the NHS continues to be financially sustainable. This will only be possible if we shift the focus from specialist units in secondary care to prevention across the whole of primary care. Therefore we need clinical senates and networks that are led to support CCGs and meet the local agenda.

“The NHS cannot afford to fail, so we simply cannot accept the old clinical tribalism and clinicians or specialists working in silos to undermine the work that CCGs need to do in their communities.”


  1. NHS Alliance brings together Clinical Commissioning Leaders, PCTs, clinicians and managers as the leading organisation in primary care. We are an independent non-political membership organisation proud to be at the forefront of clinically-led commissioning. Its leaders are all dedicated professionals, who represent the Alliance’s diverse membership, working ceaselessly to meet the challenges facing the NHS today. Find out more at www.nhsalliance.org.
  2. For more information, please email pressoffice@nhsalliance.orgorcall 07772 756674.