Government axes a further 11 health quangos

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 18 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5819
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The UK government has confirmed that 15 health related arm’s length bodies, including four previously announced in July, are to be abolished and that a further 19 will be subsumed into other organisations and government departments.

Most of the health advisory committees, some of whose remit covers the whole of the United Kingdom, will simply be reconstituted as committees of experts in the Department of Health of England or the planned new Public Health Service. These include the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation, the Human Genetics Commission, and advisory committees on borderline substances, dangerous pathogens, AIDS, antimicrobial resistance, hepatitis, nutrition, and aspects of radiation and the environment.

Other advisory committees will now come under the umbrella of the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. These include committees on herbal medicines, homoeopathic products, the advertising of drugs, and the classification of borderline products.

Nine of the changes had already been announced as part of the health department’s review of arm’s length bodies in July (BMJ 2010;341:c4074, doi:10.1136/bmj.c4074). Despite protests these will go ahead and include the abolition of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority, which will also see their functions transferred to other regulators. The Health Protection Agency is also …

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