The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, the Appointments Commission, National Patient Safety Agency and Alcohol Education Research Council are being abolished, it has been announced.
The proposals are set out in a Department of Health review of arm’s length bodies in an attempt to reduce bureaucracy and help to cut administrative costs by more than 45 per cent.
Only six of the 18 have a “clear future as arm’s length bodies”, the review says. These include:
- The Care Quality Commission
- The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
- The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
- The Health and Social Care Information Centre; and
- NHS Blood & Transplant
Other organisations are being abolished, merged, or having functions transferred into other bodies.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority will have functions transferred “to achieve greater synergies where appropriate”.
The Health Protection Agency and the National Treatment Agency will no longer be statutory bodies, instead having their functions transferred to health secretary Andrew Lansley and the new public health service being established.
The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence is being “moved out of the sector to operate on a full-cost recovery basis”.
A commercial review will be carried out to see whether the NHS Litigation Authority and NHS Business Services Authority could benefit from outsourcing, divestment and contestability and/or employee ownership.
Report of the Arm’s Length Body Review states: “Overall, these proposals will simplify the national landscape, reduce duplication and bureaucracy and better align the arm’s-length bodies sector with the rest of the health and social care system.”
It says, in future, the NHS commissioning board will lead on commissioning for quality improvement and the responsibility for improving outcomes will occur “at every level of the NHS.”
The government will engage on these proposals and, where necessary, bring forward necessary “legislative proposals” within this parliament.