Concerns remain as NHS commissioning board established in shadow form

The NHS Confederation warned that the NHS Commissioning Board (NCB) still faced potential 'bear traps' ahead of its establishment in 'shadow' form on Monday.

Mr Farrar: ‘NCB faces a number of potential bear traps.'

The Board, led by NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, becomes a shadow NHS special health authority from 31 October, and will become a statutory organisation from April 2012, a year ahead of the date when clinical commissioning groups will assume full control of NHS budgets.

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said the NCB must be a success otherwise the NHS as a whole will face a 'very big problem'.

He said in its early actions the NCB must work to avoid the danger of being seen as unaccountable to the public and overbearing to the health service.

It must therefore work to demonstrate public accountability and clinical leadership and show that it will not hold on to power or drown commissioners in guidance and bureaucracy, he said.

He added that the Board must also empower new clinical commissioners, not stifle their enthusiasm.

Mr Farrar said: ‘The creation of a national body with a single-minded focus on making the system work for patients and taxpayers is a major opportunity. However, the Board faces a number of potential bear traps.

‘The Board will require the strength and vision to lead the system through the most significant financial challenges the NHS has ever faced. It will need to support new commissioners in managing complex, strategic change including the reconfiguration of many acute hospital services.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Mobile phone

GPs urge caution over plan for NHS health checks to go digital

GP leaders have warned that changes to the NHS health checks programme must be evidence-based...

Debbie Boughtflower

How career coaching can transform the lives of veterans

GPs across England and Wales can refer patients who used to work in the armed forces...

RCGP chair Professor Kamila Hawthorne

RCGP raises 'major concerns' over practice-level appointments data

The RCGP has written to health and social care secretary Steve Barclay warning that...

Labour shadow health and social care secretary Wes Streeting

GPs condemn 'ignorant' Labour rhetoric over access to appointments

Doctors' leaders have accused the Labour party of 'demonising' GPs after it claimed...


Government NHS pension reform plans 'too little too late', warns BMA

Government plans to boost retention of doctors through reforms to the NHS pension...

Child in bed with a fever

GPs told to have 'low threshold' for prescribing antibiotics in possible strep A cases

GPs have been urged to have a 'low threshold' for prescribing antibiotics and hospital...