First step in getting the NHS Commissioning Board up and running

Posted on November 1, 2011 by


The NHS Commissioning Board – the new national board proposed in the Health & Social Care Bill which will support and hold to account all the local clinical commissioning groups which will be established across England – was established as a special health authority yesterday. It has it’s own website.

This is a shadow form of the actual board which is planned in the Health & Social Care Bill currently being debated in the Lords. This cannot be established properly until the bill has been passed but, anticipating that, it is getting up and running as a special health authority, starting to do the groundwork to establish how it will set up, authorise and run clinical commissioning groups. See the blueprint published back in July laying out initial ideas for how the board will function.

The government has committed to ensuring that a culture of research and innovation will be embedded in the arrangements for the Board.  As the national body overseeing the local clinical commissioning groups, it can play a valuable leadership role, encouraging the groups to engage with research and supporting them to fulfill their own individual duties to support research. A number of amendments down for debate over the next week or so in the Lords (more background here) aim to explore the extent of the boards duty to act to promote research and the use of research evidence, what this will mean in practice in influencing how it acts. They also explore the requirements on the board to build activity to support and promote research into its business plans, and requirements on it to assess its performance in delivering this.

Posted in: Policy