The role of the Clinical Senate

The London Clinical Senate was set up in 2010 and provides support to the NHS. It operates  as an impartial, advisory arms length body. The Clinical Senate does not get involved in the day to day running of services but provides a space to discuss important issues relating to London’s health service and works with others to make improvements. 

The Clinical Senate can enable London’s health services to deliver safe, sustainable, high quality and cost-effective care, by giving independent, strategic advice to decision-makers.  Senates can offer patient focused clinical advice guidance to commissioners and ICSs on plans to change services,  and act as a critical friend, questioning each step of the process so different ideas and opinions are considered. They are also able to provide assurance to NHS England about the clinical aspects of proposed major service re-designs.

The Clinical Senate is not focused on a particular illness, condition or group of patients. It takes a wider view looking at the whole of healthcare in London. This means it can give a ‘whole systems perspective’ or overall view of the often complicated issues at hand. The senate is able to offer advice that is evidence based and impartial, drawing on the expertise of our Patient and Public Voice group, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. In doing so, it aims to developing the best possible health services and improving quality or care and services, and outcomes across London. Across England, all regions have access to a Clinical Senate.

The London Clinical Senate is comprised of the London Senate Council, Senate Patient and Public Voice Group as well as a newly introduced London Ethics Advisory group.