National clinical leadership in neurology

Thanks to our efforts as a community, new clinical leadership posts have been announced of a National Clinical Director (NCD) for neurology, along with an NCD for spinal and neurosurgery. We also hope that national clinical leaders will be announced in other specialties, such as  neuropsychiatry. These posts, together with existing NCDs in stroke and dementia, mean we have a stronger clinical voice moving forward. We have an important opportunity to work with postholders, and to challenge them, to ensure public policy reflects the needs and experiences of people affected by neurological conditions and to support improvements to treatment and care, now and in the future.

Clinical reference groups

Clinical networks and clinical reference groups (CRGs) are part of the wider specialised services clinical leadership.

CRGs provide clinical advice and leadership for specialised services. These groups consist of clinicians, commissioners, public health experts, patient and public voice (PPV) representatives and professional associations which offer specific knowledge and expertise to advise NHS England on the best ways that specialised services should be provided.

CRGs lead on the development of clinical commissioning policies, service specifications and quality standards. They also provide advice on innovation, horizon scanning, service reviews and guide work to reduce variation and deliver increased value.

Georgina Carr (Chief Executive of The Neurological Alliance) sits on the neurology CRG as one of two PPV representatives. Recent discussions include: updates from the Stroke Programme and the Stroke National Clinical Director (NCD); a review of the MS Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT) algorithm; re-purposing of medicines for neurological conditions, and an update on the neuroscience transformation programme.

The CRG structure is also changing:

  • The neuroscience CRG has been split into a neurology CRG and a spinal and neurosurgery CRG.
  • The NCDs for neurology and neurosurgery will each chair their respective CRGs.
  • The CRGs will take an integrated approach (i.e. look beyond specialised services).
  • NHSE/I will see the CRGs as the ‘go-to’ source of advice for neuroscience.
  • Integration of neuroscience and specialised mental health will need further strengthening.

Getting in touch with the neurology CRG

For any questions or queries relating to the work of the neurology CRG you can contact

You may like to get in touch with the CRG to:

  • Raise issues related to a national service specification
  • Raise issues related to a specific clinical policy (see the CRG webpages below for further information about which clinical policies are covered by which CRG)

Further reading