NHS England responds to Clinical Reference Group engagement process

Thu, 28 April 2016

NHS England has published final proposals in relation to a consultation about revisions to Clinical Reference Group, which National Voices responded to based on member input.

In February-March, NHS England held an engagement process on its proposed revisions to Clinical Reference Groups (CRGs) in Specialised Commissioning. The proposals aimed to tighten up the system, reducing the size of the CRGs, providing payment for chairs and administrative support, and merging some CRGs so there would be a smaller number overall.

National Voices, building on input from members, provided a response to this engagement. NHS England has now responded to this engagement with its final proposals. There has been significant movement in the proposals, including on issues that we highlighted, although not on everything. 

There will now be three rather than the proposed two patient and public voice (PPV) members, and clinical members will be cut to eight not four, allowing for greater regional coverage and spread of expertise. NHS England will develop a revised CRG Guide, setting out the role of subgroups and how they will be supported. These groups will enable access to broader expertise.

PPV members will only be paid if they are not supported by a patient organisation. This is in line with NHS England’s overall policy, but the Specialised Commissioning team is feeding back concerns about this.