Cuts Watch #151: Health organisations
The Department of Health has announced the abolition of several arms length bodies, including the Alcohol Education and Research Council, National Patient Safety Agency and the Appointments Commission.
An interesting observation of this supposed quango bonfire is that the Department has decided to retain the majority of its arms length bodies. Of the 18 that have been reviewed only five have been abolished completely, and several of those being cut will see their functions passed to other organisations. For example, while the General Social Care Council will cease to exist, its functions will be passed to the Health Professions Council, and while the National Treatment Agency and the Health Protection Agency will close, their work will be continued by a new Public Health Service.
These public bodies may well have far fewer resources than they previously had – but today’s announcements suggests that many of their functions cannot easily be cut without significant impacts on the nation’s health.