Welcome to the South East Clinical Senate

The South East Clinical Senate comprises the counties of Berkshire (West), Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex. Clinical senates are non-statutory with no executive authority or legal obligations. Since their inception in 2013, Clinical Senates have established trusted and credible relationships with local stakeholders within their specified geographies (see map right). These relationships have developed alongside the commissioning and regulatory landscape.

Clinical Senates act as a source of clinical leadership and impartial clinical advice to support Integrated Care Systems (ICS) and other stakeholders to make the best decisions about health and care for their populations. Clinical senates’ advice may be provided to, or be of relevance to, a number of different bodies within the health and care system, including commissioners, providers, local government, improvement bodies and regulators, at a system and place-based level.

In order to be effective and credible, the Clinical Senate membership is multi-professional, geographically representative and spans the breadth and depth of commissioning and provider organisations. Members are clinical experts with strategic abilities, held in high regard in their respective fields. All members are expected to decouple institutional allegiances and obligations from their advisory role on the Senate. Clinical Senates have the opportunity to develop professional consensus to help local health communities make effective decisions about quality, equity, safety and efficiency.

By harnessing the collective clinical expertise and intelligence across the region and combining with patient and public partnership, the South East Clinical Senate is a valued partner in the new and evolving commissioning landscape of ICSs and ‘place-based’ planning, providing proactive and reactive advice across the region’s health care systems for the benefit of improved patient outcomes and population health.  Acting as a critical clinical friend, the South East Clinical Senate is uniquely placed to take an overview of health and healthcare for the population of the South East region, promoting the needs of patients above the needs of organisations or professions.

Operational Model

The Clinical Senate Council is a multi-professional steering group that co-ordinates and manages the Senate’s business. It maintains a strategic overview across the region and is responsible for the governance and oversight of advice, working with the expert review panels that are convened and tailored individually to meet the full scope of the advice being sought.

Membership of the Senate Council is multi-professional and includes nominated members, patient and public partners, recruited members and ex officio members from NHS England and arms-length bodies. Members are recruited based on their credibility and experience in their particular professions, they are not appointed to represent their organisations.

Appointment of members is carried out through a fair and transparent process with professional input as appropriate; members appointments are reviewed 3 yearly.

Clinical Senates are integral to the management of all major service change in systems.  The South East Senate may be called upon to provide input to assurance of service reconfigurations across the regions and/or into other regions as appropriate.

The South East Clinical Senate provides a regional clinical advisory service across the counties of Berkshire (West), Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex.

Working with change programmes’ Senior Responsible Officers, the Clinical Senate will agree terms of reference for a topic and then convene an Expert Review Panel by bringing together the relevant expertise from its council and assembly together with external experts as required. Members of the panel are required to submit both a declaration of interest, and a confidentiality agreement.

Map showing areas managed by South East Clinical Senate

1. Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West

  • 1.8 million population
  • 5 local authorities
  • 3 places

2. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

  • 1.8 million population
  • 4 local authorities
  • 4 places

3. Frimley Health and Care

  • 800k population
  • 5 local authorities
  • 5 places

4. Surrey Heartlands

  • 1.5 million population
  • 1 local authority
  • 4 places

5. Sussex Health and Care Partnership

  • 1.7 million population
  • 3 local authorities
  • 3 places

6. Kent and Medway

  • 1.8 million population
  • 2 local authorities
  • 4 places