Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said that bureaucracy will be cut and the functions of several organisations will be streamlined in a review which has been published into arm’s length bodies (ALBs).
It is anticipated that the number of health ALBs, which currently stands at 18, will be reduced to between eight and 10, delivering savings of over £180m by 2014/15.
In order to secure every possible means to promote greater value for money and efficiency, we have acted decisively to ensure that our ALB sector remains fit for purpose and affordable.
Over the years the sector has grown to the point where overlap between organisations and duplication of effort have produced a needless bureaucratic web. By making sure that the right functions are being carried out at the appropriate level, we will free up significant savings to support front-line NHS services.
The review, which comes in line with the wider reforms set out in the White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, assessed whether the work of each of the Department of Health’s 18 ALBs remains essential nationally. It also looked at whether work is being duplicated or could be better carried out by a different body.
Subject to Parliamentary approval, organisations which are no longer needed will be removed from the sector, with essential work moved to other bodies.
“I know that the uncertainty created by this review has been difficult for staff,” added Lansley. “The constructive support of the chairs and chief executives of all the organisations has been invaluable throughout this process. We will be supporting them to carry on their essential work during and beyond the period of transition.’