Commissioning chief ready to ‘embrace’ NICE

 The NHS Commissioning Board will work closely with NICE to improve levels of healthcare, commissioning chair Professor Malcolm Grant has said.

Speaking at NICE’s Annual Conference, Professor Grant said the Board plans to “embrace NICE with great warmth” and work closely with other arms-length bodies to meet Government targets.

“We need to work with NICE to help improve innovation in the NHS,” he told delegates.

NICE’s quality standards play a fundamental part in supporting the Government’s vision for clinical commissioning and delivering the best possible outcomes.

There has so far been 17 quality standard published by the Institute. The standards will inform payment mechanisms and incentive schemes as part of the Commissioning Outcomes Framework.

Professor Grant also outlined the “huge structural change” involved in creating the NHS Commissioning board and discussed the “profound cultural change for all those involved”.

“This is the first time that political power is being taken away,” he said.

“The future is in our hands not the hands of politicians. The Secretary of State will annually produce a mandate for the Board to commission care.

“The Commissioning Board will authorise clinical commission groups from the 1 April next year. Any conditions of authorisation will be minimal and transitional.”