NHS Commissioning Board rebrands as NHS England

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Malcolm_Grant (web) The NHS Commissioning Board, the ‘quango’ entrusted with managing the new NHS, will be known as NHS England from 12 April 2013.

The new name, according to Chairman Professor Malcolm Grant, is intended to represent a more “public-facing” organisation that represents the NHS as a whole.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has approved the change of name, noting that its only purpose is “ensuring effective communications with the public”.

Grant’s letter to the Health Secretary outlined two “key benefits” of the Board’s new name:

• “To connect more readily with patients and the public” – thus helping to establish its support for “openness and transparency”.

• “To speak for the NHS” – thus underlining its role as the authoritative source on “NHS delivery and performance”.

Grant also highlighted the need for NHS England to maintain “presentational consistency with Government policy” – an important qualification of the ‘autonomy’ of the new NHS.

In his reply, Hunt observed that “the Board will have a critical role in communicating effectively with the media”.

He also noted that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will have “an increasingly important and powerful role in the system in assessing the quality of providers”, and will work in partnership with NHS England.

The Board is committed to minimising the costs of the rebranding.