Government halves number of NHS quangos to save £180m

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 27 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4074
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

    Half of the NHS’s quangos (quasi-autonomous national governmental organisations) are to be axed, the government has confirmed, and it has named which bodies are to go.

    Well known bodies, including the Health Protection Agency and the National Patient Safety Agency, are to be abolished, with some of their responsibilities being moved to the new body called the Public Health Service.

    In its review of arm’s length bodies the Department of Health has lined up between eight and 10 from a total of 18 such bodies to be culled from the NHS (final decisions are still pending).

    England’s health secretary, Andrew Lansley, said that the cuts were part of an attempt to save money—an estimated £180m (€215m; $280m) by 2014-15—and would help towards the target of reducing the NHS’s administrative costs by 45% over the next four years.

    The health department emphasised that most of the work done by the bodies being abolished was being “streamlined” and would continue under other organisations.

    Details are still to be finalised about what happens to staff in those soon to be defunct organisations, but there is a possibility some could transfer to other bodies.

    Change was inevitable, said Mr Lansley, and was in line with the wider reforms set out in the recent white paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS (BMJ 2010;341:c3796, 14 Jul, doi:10.1136/bmj.c3796).

    The list of bodies …

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