SCNs will comprise of groups of health professionals (such as specialists), providers and commissioners. They are proposed to target areas of care where improvements can be made through a more integrated, collaborative approach. The aim is that these networks will help local commissioners reduce big variations in services and improve care pathways for patients.
There will be 12 locally based SCN teams, and each will initially be time limited for up to five years. The first four strategic clinical networks are:
- Cardiovascular disease (including cardiac, stroke, diabetes and renal disease).
- Maternity and children’s services.
- Mental health, dementia and neurological conditions.
Pete Scott, Campaigns and Policy Officer at Epilepsy Action said:
“We are pleased that the Commissioning Board has included neurology among its first clinical networks. We know that neurological services fit the criteria for a network, because services vary geographically and can be greatly improved through more collaborative working. These networks will provide an additional, special focus on improving neurological care all over England because they will be tasked with bringing services up to standard. This is good for patients and we will try and work with the networks to improve epilepsy services where we can.”