The UK's Department of Health has announced the launch of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority.
The Authority will focus on designing a business model for the Board subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill 2011.
It will work in partnership with clinical commissioning group leaders, GPs and the Department of Health to agree the method for establishing, authorising and running clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), with patients and clinical leadership at the centre.
The central role of the new Board will be to improve patient outcomes, by supporting, developing and performance managing an effective system of clinical commissioning groups who are set to be in charge of the £80bn commissioning budget.
The Board will also take responsibility for some commissioning services at a national or a regional level.
Sir David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive said: "Building this new system over the next two years, while delivering for our patients, increasing productivity and improving the quality of care, is a major challenge. But I firmly believe that what we are trying to achieve – a stronger, more innovative and more coherent commissioning system – will be critical to sustaining the NHS in years to come."
Subject to successful passage of the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 through Parliament, it is anticipated the NHS Commissioning Board will become fully operational on April 1, 2013, when it takes on its complete legal responsibilities for managing the NHS Commissioning system.
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