About us

What we do

The Independent Reconfiguration Panel is the independent expert on NHS service change.

We review proposals for changes to NHS services that are being contested, and advise the Secretary of State for Health. We also offer support to the NHS and other bodies on achieving successful change.

The proposals we assess or review can relate to hospital-based services, community-based services or specialised regional or national services. The focus of our work is the patient and quality of care in the context of safe, sustainable and accessible services for local people. Depending on the nature of the proposals we are asked to look at, this may include issues such as workforce, estate, use of technology or finance.

Who we are

The panel members have wide-ranging expertise in clinical healthcare, NHS management, public and patient involvement. Our code of practice (MS Word Document, 1.63MB) covers our rules on accountability, liability and openness. We keep a declaration of interests of any members’ private interests that may conflict with public duties.

Our responsibilities

We have our own general terms of reference (MS Word Document, 40.5KB)

Our duties include:

  • giving expert advice to ministers on proposed NHS reconfigurations or significant service change in England, and the available options
  • basing advice on whether the proposals will provide safe, sustainable and accessible services for the local population, taking account of:
    • clinical and service quality
    • patient choice
    • future referral needs of local GPs who commission services
    • national health strategy and policy
  • offering informal advice to NHS and other interested bodies on developing proposals for significant service change

Our processes

For more information on how we carry out reviews, see:

For information on our informal advice giving role, see:

Regulations and guidance:

Our current work

In the last year, we have provided initial assessment advice on referrals from Devon and Hartlepool.

We have provided informal advice to organisations and individuals on health issues in Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Greater Manchester, Kent, Lincolnshire, London, Newcastle and the north east, Oxfordshire and Yorkshire as well as advice on specialised commissioning and general advice on NHS reconfiguration issues to national organisations.

Corporate information

Jobs and contracts