King's Fund warns hospital reconfiguration harder to achieve in new NHS

Reconfiguration of hospital services could be even harder to achieve in the new NHS than under the current arrangements, the King's Fund says.

Introducing clinical commissioning groups, health and wellbeing boards and the NHS Commissioning Board (NCB) would make it less clear where responsibility for hospital reconfigurations lay, the think tank says.

The warning comes after former NHS chief executive Lord Crisp said that hospitals across the country would have to close if the NHS is to remain sustainable.

In a report on reconfiguration of hospital services, the King’s Fund warned that the proposed NHS reforms would make an already complex and bureaucratic process even more complex and confusing.

It said: ‘It will be critical to clarify who is able to drive forward reconfiguration, particularly at a strategic level and who should be holding who to account and for what? What will be the respective roles of the NCB, Monitor and the health and wellbeing boards?

‘One can imagine a situation in which all three have different views on the future configuration of services – who will have the final say?’

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