Consultation letter on establishment of special health authorities

As part of the preparatory work for the NHS Commissioning Board and the Health Research Authority, we are currently seeking the views of those representing staff who may be transferred to the proposed NHS Commissioning Board and Health Research Authority special health authorities.



This letter, to John Beanland (Departmental Trade Union Side Chair), Karen Didovich (Senior Employment Relations Advisor at Royal College of Nursing) and Christina McAnea (Unison National Secretary for Health), seeks views from those on the proposed establishment of two special health authorities.

A summary of the consultation

Published 9 September 2011

As part of the process to establish two new special health authorities (the NHS Commissioning Board Authority and the Health Research Authority), the Department was required, in accordance with section 28(7) of the NHS Act 2006, to consult representatives of those staff who may be transferred to either of the proposed special health authorities, or may be affected by such transfers.

Three responses to the consultation were received: one on behalf of the Social Partnership Forum staff side, one from the Hospital Consultants & Specialists Association and one from the British Medical Association.

Comments included the desire to have greater detail about the staff that would transfer to the new bodies and for enough time to consult appropriately about those transfers.  There was also a desire to ensure that functions of bodies being abolished would be reflected appropriately and successfully transferred to proposed special health authority bodies.

There were comments and concerns about the wider reform agenda that, although noted by the Department, do not affect the planned establishment of these special health authorities.

The Department has responded to these letters seeking to provide reassurance about our approach to the transfer of services to the special health authorities; the transition arrangements; and on-going communication and consultation with affected staff.  We will take account of the views expressed during the remaining process to establish the special health authorities.

The Department Trade Union side sent no formal response but may seek a meeting in September, which officials will arrange. 

In addition to this, officials received a small number of queries from staff within the Department.  These were responded to on a case-by-case basis.