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What are arm's length bodies?

  • Last modified date:
    7 December 2010

The Department of Health works with three kinds of arm’s length bodies (ALBs):

  • Executive agencies have responsibility for particular business areas - the agencies are still part of, and accountable to, the Department
  • Special health authorities are independent bodies, but can be subject to ministerial direction like other NHS bodies
  • Non-departmental public bodies have a role in the process of national government, but are not part of government departments.

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Care Quality Commission (opens new window)

In April 2009 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) brought together the work of the Commission for Social Care Inspection, the Healthcare Commission and the Mental Health Act Commission.

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