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Dear Colleagues

As the new and radical changes to the commissioning and delivery of clinical services in the NHS come in to place the SBNS holds a position of responsibility at the centre of the new developments. With strong neurosurgical representation across the Clinical Reference Groups and Programmes of Care, the fast moving work streams for service specifications, national policy development and other products are constantly being updated. The SBNS is committed to active involvement of all its members in the process and hopefully this web page will help support this.

Paul May
Past SBNS President 

Clinical Reference Groups

Neurosurgery is now commissioned centrally by NHS England according to service specifications drawn up by 74 clinical reference groups (CRGs) coordinated through five National Programmes of Care (See pdfs below).  The clinical reference groups are the main source of clinical advice to specialised commissioning and the most relevant groups are chaired by senior neurosurgeons:  Adult Neurosurgery (Mr Paul May),  Paediatric Neuroscience (Mr Ian Pople), CNS Tumours (Mr Paul Grundy) and Stereotactic Radiosurgery (Mr Andras Kemeny).  Full membership lists can be found on the following page of NHS England website:

pdf_icon.gif CRG_GOVERNANCE.pdf

pdf_icon.gif CRG_STRUCTURE.pdf

Each CRG has a central set of commissioning products to develop each year including:

•           Commissioning policies

•           Service specifications

•           Quality dashboards

The CRG facilitates close working with the commissioners.  David Stockdale is the Accountable Commissioner for Adult Neurosurgery, Spinal Cord Injury, Complex Spinal Injury, and Stereotactic Radiosurgery.

pdf_icon.gif Manual for prescribed specialised services

pdf_icon.gif Clinical Reference Groups for Specialised Services: a guide for clinicians

To register as a stakeholder for a Clinical Reference Group visit the following link

To register as a stakeholder for a Clinical Reference Group visit the following link:

Service specifications

The service specifications  went out for consultation earlier this year and following NHS England’s response, will become mandatory for the NHS from 1st October 2013. Shorter versions of the 13/14 specifications that are aimed at the patient population and wider public will also be published in due course. 

Commissioning policies and statements

The clinical commissioning policies and statements developed alongside the service specifications were also subject to a similar consultation process as the service specifications. However, as the new structure unfolds, challenges to previous funding streams and the absence of current and new policies will present more of a problem for the provision of some neurosurgical services. Affordability and clinical effectiveness are becoming increasingly important factors in this process.

Quality Dashboards

Quality Dashboards are one of the key quality improvement products the CRGs are responsible for developing.  Quality dashboards will incorporate measures of clinical outcome, patient experience and service effectiveness and efficiency against which providers’ performance will be assessed. Development of quality dashboards is underway within the respective neurosurgical CRGs. 

Last Updated: 23 February 2024