From the TUC

Cuts Watch #151: Health organisations

26 Jul 2010, by in Cuts Watch

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.

3 Responses to Cuts Watch #151: Health organisations

  1. Richard Blogger
    Jul 26th 2010, 4:02 pm

    Abolishing the Appointments Commission will be a problem. I am a Foundation Trust hospital governor and one duty of governors is to appoint the non-executive directors and to determine their remuneration. Do I have a clue about either? The Appointments Commission appoint NEDs for NHS trusts and they give advice to FT governors, but now that advice will no longer be available.

    The white paper makes it clear that this Conservative government wants Foundation Trusts in name only. Section 6.7 says that they will change governance of FTs (at the moment the majority of governors have to be elected, expect that to change); they also want to repeal the act that allows bad FTs to be deauthorised which means that FT status is no longer to be treated as a mark of excellence. Section 4.21 says that some FTs will have no governors, and anyway, most FTs are expected to become “employee-led social enterprises” which are private businesses.

    Removing the Appointments Commission is another move away from public governance and a move towards privatisation.

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