Clinical Services

Health Policy Support Unit

The Health Policy Support Unit (HPSU) specialises in developing clinical commissioning policy, enabling CCGs to prioritise health care resources to best meet the needs of their populations with confidence, through the development of robust, equitable and transparent evidence-based policies that meld national policy drivers and research evidence with local realities and constraints.


  • Management of local policy development including operational, technical and administrative support for governance meetings, policy decision-making meetings and expert working group meetings.
  • We work with commissioners to facilitate agreement of a prioritised work programme of topics for review, identified through independent horizon scanning and consultation with stakeholders on areas likely to have the greatest impact. Each review normally comprises baseline assessment, evidence review, stakeholder consultation, local impact assessment and identification of equality issues.
  • The HPSU has a service level agreement with the National Guideline Centre (NGC) to develop systematic reviews on particularly complex, contentious or involved topics. The NGC are internationally recognised experts in the development of best practice clinical recommendations; the NGC specialises in developing clinical guidelines for NICE.


  • Since its inception in 2007 HPSU has supported commissioners across the South East to make healthcare investment decisions for their populations. This has resulted in an in-depth understanding of CCGs need to make difficult decisions about funding and commissioning of health care interventions.
  • HPSU facilitates local joint working to achieve region-wide policy, reducing allegations of postcode lottery and preventing duplication of work. Robust standards and governance are maintained to ensure local policy is able to withstand legal scrutiny; appropriate professional advice and stakeholder engagement are integral to the processes.
  • The team’s experience include public sector research and analysis, research governance, evidence synthesis and critical appraisal according to NICE methodologies, medical statistics and epidemiological methodologies.

If you would like further information, please contact 

NEL CSU's HPSU resources for Kent and Medway CCG customers are available here