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Monday 26th August 2019

NHS Commissioning Board Authority now operating

1st November 2011

The NHS Commissioning Board, an organisation which plays a key part in the government's plans for health reform, is now in operation.


NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson heads the Board, which became a shadow NHS health authority from 31 October and will be a statutory body from April next year.

Clinical commissioning groups will only assume complete control of health service budgets by 2013.

The Board will have around 3,500 staff members and will take responsibility for overseeing clinical commissioning groups and services.

The chief executive of the NHS Confederation Mike Farrar said the government had created a "major opportunity" by creating the Board.

However, he cautioned: "The Board faces a number of potential bear traps. It must act to avoid the danger of being seen as unaccountable to the public, overbearing to the health service, or ineffective in delivering tangible benefits to patients."

"Through its early actions, it needs to show that is not where we are heading. That will mean setting an example by demonstrating public accountability and clinical leadership. It also means showing it will not hold on to power or drown commissioners in guidance and bureaucracy."

He added that the Board would need to work to give power to local commissioning organisations and said they needed "guidance" rather than "mandatory rules". 


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