The South West Clinical Senate held its first full Senate Council meeting on 12th December 2013 at Taunton Rugby Club. Part Senate Council, part Senate deliberation, the Clinical Senate attracted strong attendance from its members including members from the Citizens’ Assembly.
The Clinical Senate gathered to deliberate on a question set by Linda Prosser, Director of Commissioning, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire Area Team, who is also responsible for the commissioning of specialised services across the South West. The specialised services policies are set nationally, but their implementation is and will have significant implications for the configuration of hospital and other services across the South West.
The South West Clinical Senate were asked to consider the question:
“In order to deliver excellent care which complies with NHS England’s service specifications, what are the principles which the South West Clinical Senate proposes that specialised commissioning should consider?”
The Clinical Senate has managed to secure broad, multidisciplinary membership across the South West and this was evident in the animated discussions during the afternoon session. Energised by the table top exercise, a hypothetical case of reconfiguring the ‘Philophobia service across the South West’, members showed that they could rise to the challenge of being population focussed, leaving their organisational allegiances behind. Some were, however, convinced that the case described was an actual descriptor of their service. Certainly, it demonstrated the complexity of the issues that the Senate is being asked to debate.
The full and ranked set of principles agreed at the meeting will be taken forward by Linda Prosser. We will continue to work with Linda to understand how the output of the Senate is used for evaluation and learning.
For details of the principles agreed click here