• Outgoing president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine appointed clinical lead for accident and emergency improvement plan
  • NHS England announces chairs of its reconfigured clinical reference groups
  • Decision to cut number of groups from 71 to 42 earlier this year drew criticism from patient groups

NHS England has appointed Clifford Mann, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, as clinical lead for its accident and emergency improvement plan.

The national body has also named named the clinicians who will be chairing its slimmed down clinical reference groups.

Dr Mann will work with Pauline Philip, NHS England’s national urgent and emergency care director, and director for acute care Keith Willet on the joint NHS England and NHS Improvement programme to redesign urgent care services and improve A&E performance.

The appointment is for three years, and will include chairing the programme’s CRG.

Dr Mann said: “This new opportunity to represent the collective views of frontline emergency medicine clinicians is both welcome and timely.

“Current challenges require us to ensure our emergency care systems are sustainable as well as effective.”

NHS England has also unveiled the doctors who will be leading its 42 CRGs – the bodies responsible for advising NHS England on how it spends its £15.7bn specialised services budget (see box below).

Earlier this year the national commissioning body reduced the number of CRGs from 71 to 42.

The move – which was partly motivated by the need to cut costs – drew criticism from a number of patient groups, who claimed the scrapping of dedicated CRGs for certain conditions would “dilute” the specialist advice available to the NHS.

Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, said the appointments were a “concrete step towards NHS England’s commitment to harness the nation’s top clinical leadership as we get going on the implementing of the Five Year Forward View in every part of the country”.

Jonathan Fielden, NHS England’s director of specialised commissioning, said: “I am delighted with the appointments made across the spectrum of specialised commissioning, and am confident that each chair – along with their respective CRG members – will make a significant contribution to developing and delivering our strategy for excellent and efficient specialised services over the coming years.”

NHS England has also created four new cross-CRG “working parties”:

  • Research – to build “an interface with the National Institute for Health Research to advise how future research strategies align with commissioning”.
  • Data and resource – will work with “NHS Digital and NHS Improvement to provide clinical advice to these organisations in their work to improve information that guides commissioning”.
  • Guidance – will work with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in their guidance development, providing clinical advice as needed.
  • Value – focusing on reducing variation and “where appropriate, ceasing treatments/ways of working that are no longer of clinical or patient benefit”.

New clinical reference group chairs

Internal medicine national programme of care

  • Specialised respiratory - Professor Mike Morgan, Consultant Respiratory Physician at University Hospitals of Leicester
  • Hepatobiliary and pancreas - Professor Graham Foster, Consultant Hepatologist at Barts Health
  • Specialised endocrinology - Professor John Wass, Professor of Endocrinology at Churchill Hospital, Oxford
  • Specialised vascular - Professor Robert Sayers, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Leicester Royal Infirmary
  • Cardiothoracic services - Professor Huon Gray, Consultant Cardiologist at Southampton University Hospital
  • Renal services - Dr Richard Baker, Consultant Nephrologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust
  • Specialised colorectal services - Mr Mark Chapman, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Heart of England Foundation Trust
  • Specialised dermatology – was not appointed, the future of this CRG will be discussed with the specialty association
  • Specialised rheumatology - Dr Bridget Griffiths, Consultant Rheumatologist at The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust


  • Radiotherapy - Professor Nicholas Slevin, Consultant in Clinical Oncology at The Christie Foundation Trust
  • Chemotherapy - Professor Peter Clark, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre FT
  • Specialised cancer surgery - Mr Vijay Sangar, Consultant Urological Surgeon at University Hospital of South Manchester Foundation Trust
  • Cancer diagnostics - Dr Wai Lup Wong, Consultant Cancer Radiologist at East and North Herts Trust
  • Children and young adult cancer - Dr Rachael Hough, Consultant Haematologist and Transplant Physician at University College London Hospital’s Foundation Trust

Mental health

  • Specialised mental health - Dr Steve Pearce, Consultant Psychiatrist at Oxford Health Foundation Trust
  • Adult secure mental health - Dr David Fearnley, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at Mersey Care Trust
  • CAMHS - Dr Andrew Cotgrove, Consultant in Adolescent Psychiatry at Cheshire and Wirral Foundation Trust
  • Perinatal mental health - Dr Giles Berrisford, Consultant Psychiatrist at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust
  • Gender identity services - Dr John Dean, Clinical Director at Devon Partnership Trust


  • Rehabilitation and disability - Colonel Alan Mistlin, Consultant Rheumatology and Rehabilitation at Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre
  • Major trauma and burns - Professor Chris Moran, Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery at Nottingham University Hospital
  • Spinal services - Mr Ashley Cole, Consultant Spinal Surgeon at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Northern General Hospital
  • Neurosciences - Professor Adrian Williams, Consultant Neurologist at University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust
  • Adult critical care - Dr Jane Eddleston, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia at Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Specialised ENT and ophthalmology - Miss Alison Davis, Clinical Director Moorfields South at Moorfields Eye Hospital
  • Specialised pain - Dr John Hughes, Consultant in Pain Management at South Tees Hospitals Trust

Women and children

  • Medical genetics - Dr Frances Elmslie, Consultant Clinical Genetics at St George’s University Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Specialised surgery in childhood - Mr Oliver Gee, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Paediatric medicine - Dr Vinod Diwakar, Medical Director & Consultant in Paediatrics at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation Trust
  • Paediatric meurosciences - Dr Charles Fairhurst, Consultant in Paediatric Neurodisability at Guys and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust
  • Congenital heart services - Dr Trevor Richens, Consultant in Congenital Heart Disease at University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust
  • Metabolic disorders - Dr Robin Lachmann, Consultant in Metabolic Medicine at University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Paediatric intensive care - Dr Gale Pearson, Clinical Lead in Paediatric Intensive Care at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust
  • Neonatal critical care - Professor Neil Marlow, Professor of Neonatal Medicine at UCL EGA Institute for Women’s Health
  • Specialised women’s services - Professor Sarah Creighton, Consultant Gynaecologist at University College London Hospitals 

Blood and infection

  • Blood and marrow transplantation - Professor John Snowden, Consultant Haematologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Specialised blood disorders - Dr Gerard Dolan, Consultant Haematologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust
  • HIV - Dr Ian Williams, Senior lecturer and Hon Consultant Physician at Central and North West London Foundation Trust
  • Infectious diseases - Dr Peter Moss, Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust
  • Haemoglobinopathies - Dr Kate Ryan, Consultant Haematologist at Central Manchester University Hospitals
  • Specialised immunology and allergy - Dr Siraj Misbah, Consultant in Clinical Immunology at Oxford University Hospitals Trust

Medicines optimisation - Professor Liz Kay, Clinical Director, Medicines Management and Pharmacy Services at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

In addition to the CRG chairs, Antonio Pagliuca, professor of stem cell transplantation at Kings College Hospital, has been appointed as national clinical lead for regenerative medicine, and Richard Fluck, consultant renal physician at Royal Derby Hospital, has been appointed as co-chair of the internal medicine national programme of care.