NHS England

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The information on this page is England specific

QuotationMarkLeft.png The NHS Commissioning Board Special Health Authority (NHS CBA), plays a key role in the Government’s vision to modernise the health service and secure the best possible outcomes for patients. Its role is to make all the necessary preparations for the successful establishment of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) in October 2012 before it takes on full statutory responsibilities in April 2013.

Responsibility for the majority of commissioning will be devolved to local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). CCGs will be supported and held to account by an independent NHS CB. QuotationMarkRight.pngNHS Commissioning Board web site

NHS England is the name the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS-CB) took on from 1st April 2013 when it took on all its powers under the Health and social care act 2012. This has much of the former role of the Department of Health for England. Essentially from this date there are more clearly than before four different NHS structures in the UK with differential political accountability.

Its functions include from 31st March 2013:

  1. Authorisation of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) - 212 as of February 2013
    • Hosts the NHS Commissioning Assembly (212 representatives from the above).
  2. Direct commissioning
    • Commissions individual GP Practices
      • Previously they were commissioned by PCTs
      • Uses now a single operating model
    • Commissions specialised services
    • Commissions offender healthcare
    • Commissions some health services for members of the armed forces
    • While commissioning of public health services is by Public Health England (PHE) and local authorities, the NHS CB commissions, on behalf of PHE, many of the public health services delivered by the NHS[1]. These include:
      • National immunisation programmes
      • National screening programmes
      • Sexual assault referral centres
      • Public health services for children aged 0-5 years
      • Child health information systems.
    • This will be done through 27 local area teams (LATs)
      • Ten of these LATs lead locally on specialised services contracting across England:
        • Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear
        • South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw
        • Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral
        • East Anglia
        • Leicestershire and Lincolnshire
        • Birmingham and Black Country
        • Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
        • Wessex
        • Surrey and Sussex
        • London
    • All other health services are commissioned by CCGs
  3. Hosts strategic clinical networks
    • Experts on particular conditions and service areas
    • Initial four are:
      • Cancer
      • Cardiovascular disease (including cardiac, stroke, diabetes and renal disease)
      • Maternity and children’s services
      • Mental health, dementia and neurological conditions
  4. Hosts 12 clinical senates
    • Essentially regional clinical group hosted in each of the 12 local areas
  5. Responsibility for national patient safety
    • Took on functions of former National Patient Safety Agency on 1 June 2012
      • As of January 2019 some oversight of one of the roles of this will be provided by the National Patient Safety Alerting Committee (NaPSAC).
  6. Coordination with:

See also:


The NHS Commissioning Board Authority was formally established as an independent body, at arm’s length to the Government, on 1 October 2012 and changed its name to NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB). On the 1st April 2013 the name was changed to NHS England at 5 days notice[2] NHS England then organised itself into a central corporate team/executive with four regional administrations:

  1. NHS North
  2. NHS Midlands and East
  3. NHS London
  4. NHS South

From 2016 sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) were created on a subregional basis to ensure health and social care strategy was better integrated. During 2017 this was further pursued with the creation of the first accountable care systems (ACS). An ACS is to be an ‘evolved’ version of an STP that is working as a locally integrated health system. From September 2018 the merger process commenced with NHS Improvement which had a separate regulatory role (and this regulatory role has been maintained right up to executive director level) and in due course , as envisaged in March 2018, seven regional teams will emerge from this reorganisation. In December 2018 the central corporate team was reorganised and the first regional split occurred:

  1. NHS North
  2. NHS Midlands and East
  3. NHS London
  4. NHS South East
  5. NHS South West

External links