About the National Clinical Forum
All NHS Organisations are developing service plans to improve quality, responsiveness and accessibility of care across Wales. These plans will develop new sustainable models of care that integrate the NHS in Wales as a whole system, encompassing primary, community, secondary and specialist care services, as outlined in Together for Health (available from the Welsh Government website, external link).
The National Clinical Forum was established in November 2011 by the NHS Wales Chief Executives to provide Health Boards with independent expert clinical advice and guidance on the sustainable service plans required in Together for Health.
The focus is on locally - based services wherever possible maximising the opportunities highlighted in Setting the Direction (available from Welsh Government website, external link), with access to high quality specialist services when needed, through a network of specialist centres and centres of excellence.
This may involve some significant change to the current pattern of healthcare delivery in Wales. Although it is for the Local Health Boards and Trusts (LHBs) to plan, lead and implement any service changes required, there is a need for them to be supported nationally. This will ensure a consistent approach to service standards and models of care across Wales.
The National Clinical Forum (NCF), hereafter referred to as “the Forum” is an advisory task and finish group. The NCF has no decision making powers or right of Veto over any proposals/plans it considers. Its role is to advise LHBs if as a result of their service change plans, standards and policy requirements will be met, improved outcomes can be achieved and patients will be better served.
The Forum will consider if proposals for service change:
- are appropriately influenced by relevant evidence and best practice;
- provide a basis for sustainable delivery of services; and
- combine to create a realistic and ambitious way forward for healthcare in Wales.
In undertaking this role, the Forum may also be asked to consider any external/international expert advice the LHBs may decide to commission to support their plans.
Its role does not include consideration of professional terms and conditions of service.
Scope and Duties
In respect of its provision of advice to LHBs, the Forum:
- offers advice and feedback to LHBs on an individual organisation, regional or all-Wales basis on any aspect of all service change plans that may impact across Health Board Boundaries or have impacts for Wales as a whole;
- offers advice and feedback to LHBs on any local service change plans they request the Forum to review;
- offers advice to LHBs on the development and content of the national narrative describing the clinical case for change.
- offers advice to LHBs on the adoption of best practice service models and innovative practice across Wales, inclusive of best practice in training and education across all professions;
The Forum may provide advice to the LHBs:
- at Chief Executive Officer Group meetings, through the attendance of the Forum’s Chair or a nominated representative;
- in written advice; and
- in any other form agreed with the LHBs.