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Reform of Department of Health Public Bodies

  • Published date:
    14 October 2010
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A Department of Health review of Advisory Non-Departmental Public Bodies (ANDPBs) has set out the future of  forty health-related public bodies, as part of a cross-Government review led by the Cabinet Office.

The review is part of the Government’s drive to increase the transparency and accountability of public services and reduce their number and cost. It examined the committees, groups and panels which provide expert advice to Government.

Forty Department of Health bodies were included and the future of nine of these has already been announced as part of the Department of Health’s Arm’s Length Body Review in July. The changes announced today to the Department’s ANDPBs will be in place from 2012. Changes to previously announced Arm’s Length Bodies may take longer, but all are expected to be in place by 2013/14. 

A number of the ANDPBs will have their status changed to that of a committee of experts. This preserves the independent expert advice given to the Department and also reduces the level of administration associated with the body, for example on reporting and making public appointments. 

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

“Today’s changes continue our work to increase the accountability and transparency of public services, as well as ensuring that the advisory mechanisms we have are fit for purpose. The bodies who provide essential independent advice to the department will continue to do so, but they will be streamlined and made more accountable so that they operate in the most cost effective way.

“We will continue to support the organisations involved through this period of transition, ensuring we continue to get the highest quality independent advice from experts to inform policy decisions.”

A full list of the organisations and their futures is below. (The items with a * have been previously announced in the Department of Health Arm’s Length Body Review)

 

Public Bodies Reform Programme – Department of Health announcements

  • Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee – Retain on grounds of impartiality
  • Advisory Board on the Registration of Homeopathic Products – Reconstitute as a Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) committee of experts
  • Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances – Abolish and reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards – Retain on grounds of impartiality.
  • Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Advisory Group on Hepatitis – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Alcohol Education and Research Council* - Abolish as a NDPB and remain as a charity, as previously announced
  • Appointments Commission* - Abolish – accountability for remaining public health appointments will rest with Ministers, as previously announced
  • British Pharmacopoeia Commission – Retain on grounds of impartiality
  • Care Quality Commission* - Retain on grounds of impartiality
  • Commission on Human Medicines – Retain on grounds of impartiality
  • Committee on the Carcogenity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Committee on the Safety of Devices – Reconstitute as a Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) committee of experts
  • Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence* - Abolish as a NDPB and make a self funding body, as previously announced
  • Expert Advisory Group on AIDS – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Gene Therapy Advisory Committee – Abolish and transfer some functions to new research regulator
  • General Social Care Council* - Abolish as a NDPB and transfer functions to Health Professions Council, as previously announced
  • Genetics and Insurance Committee – Abolish body. Functions have been transferred to other bodies
  • Health Protection Agency* - Abolish as a NDPB and transfer functions as part of the new Public Health Service, as previously announced
  • Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee – Reconstitute as a Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) committee of experts
  • Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority* - Transfer functions to other regulators (body to be abolished by end of current Parliament), as previously announced
  • Human Genetics Commission – Reconstitute as a Department of Health committee of experts
  • Human Tissue Authority* - Transfer functions to other regulators (body to be abolished by end of current Parliament), as previously announced
  • Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV – Abolish and replace with a stakeholder advisory group
  • Independent Reconfiguration Panel – Retain on grounds of impartiality
  • Independent Review Panel for the Classification of Borderline Products – Reconstitute as a Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) committee of experts
  • Independent Review panel on the Advertising of Medicines – Reconstitute as a Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) committee of experts
  • Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations – Reconstitute as a Department of Health/Public Health Service committee of experts
  • Medical Education England – Retain on the grounds of impartiality
  • Monitor* - Retain and make an economic regulator
  • National Information Governance Board for Health and Social Care – Abolish body and transfer statutory functions to the Care Quality Commission and obtain some advice currently provided by NIGB from within the Department of Health or other bodies
  • National Joint Registry Steering Committee – Reconstitute as a Department of Health committee of experts
  • NHS Pay Review Body – Retain on the grounds of impartiality
  • Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration – Retain on the grounds of impartiality
  • Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition – Reconstitute as a Department of Health committee of experts

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

An Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body is a body which has an advisory role in the processes of national Government, but is not a Government Department or part of one. 

An Arm’s Length Body, or Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, is the same as above, except it always has a statutory remit and the executive element means it can carry out and implement advice given.

Further information on the previous announcement on the Department’s Arm’s Length Body Review can be found here:

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