NHS CB gets £1.8bn for public health commissioning

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 The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) has been given £1.8bn to commission certain public health services by the Department of Health as part of a new agreement.

The Board will take on responsibilities for several services from April 2013 which align with national clinical pathways, such as immunisation programmes and cancer screening programmes.

The agreement has been formed to use the NHS to “drive improvements in population health”, the agreement said.

Public health functions to be exercised by the NHS Commissioning Board outlines how the Board is accountable for the successful delivery of the programmes. In addition to the immunisation and cancer screening programmes, others include:

  • National routine screening programmes (non-cancer)
  • Children’s public health services from pregnancy to age five
  • Child Health Information Systems
  • Public health services for people in prison and other places of detention
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centres

Key deliverables include national coverage of various vaccines, access to screening programmes for diseases such as HIV and syphilis, improving levels of breastfeeding and reducing infant mortality.

The Commissioning Board will produce an annual report on its achievements against key deliverables to the Department of Health. It will also inform the DH if it has any significant concerns in relation to the delivery of services by providers.