Health secretary says new commissioning board’s first job will be to devolve powers to local groups

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 26 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3025
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, has restated his vision for the reform of the NHS in England in a letter to the chairman of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority.

It makes clear that the board’s function, when it is established in October, will not be to acquire power for itself but to devolve it to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Ever since the board was first proposed, and more so since David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS in England, was named as its chief executive, there has been a tension between Lansley’s original plan to devolve power locally and the increasing acquisition of responsibilities by the board.

Backers of the reforms feared that this was the old NHS …

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