The NHS Commissioning Board Authority, a special health authority and the shadow form of the NHS Commissioning Board (the Board), is now in operation.
Subject to the successful passage of the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 through Parliament, over the next 12 months the Board Authority will focus on designing an innovative business model for the Board, which puts patients and clinical leadership at its heart.
It will also work in partnership with clinical commissioning group leaders, GPs and the Department of Health to agree the method for establishing, authorising and running clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
In addition, the Board Authority will create the infrastructure and organise the resources to allow the NHS Commissioning Board to operate successfully as an independent body from October 2012 (subject to the successful passage of the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 through Parliament).
Sir David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive said: ‘Building this new system over the next two years, while delivering for our patients, increasing productivity and improving the quality of care, is a major challenge. But I firmly believe that what we are trying to achieve – a stronger, more innovative and more coherent commissioning system – will be critical to sustaining the NHS in years to come.’
The central role of the new Board will be to improve patient outcomes, by supporting, developing and performance managing an effective system of clinical commissioning groups. The Board will also take responsibility for commissioning services that can only be provided efficiently and effectively at a national or a regional level. Sir David Nicholson summarised this purpose as: ‘Using the £80 billion commissioning budget to secure the best possible outcomes for NHS patients.’
He continued: ‘Putting patients at the heart of all we do means we must be obsessed with improving quality outcomes, obsessed with involving patients at every stage of organisation and service development and obsessed with the availability of clear and accessible information. Only then can we create a system that offers real choice and control to patients.’
Subject to successful passage of the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 through Parliament, it is anticipated the NHS Commissioning Board will become fully operational on 1 April 2013, when it takes on its complete legal responsibilities for managing the NHS Commissioning system.
Find out more and watch Sir David Nicholson speaking about the NHS Commissioning Board on the NHS Commissioning Board Authority website.