Nicholson predicts ‘big changes’

 Sir David Nicholson has predicted “big changes” on the day the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) takes over its new responsibilities.

The NHS Commissioning Board Chief Executive said Monday 1 October 2012 was a “landmark” day in the history of the NHS as the NHSCB takes full control of its budget.

Writing in The Guardian, Sir David outlined how the Board plans to split the health service’s £85m budget.

He explained how around £60m will be allocated to clinical commissioning groups to “plan and pay” for local health needs.

The remaining £25m will then be used by the Board on “community services” and on more “specialist services” for conditions that are more complex and rarer.

Sir David said that patients “won’t notice a difference” immediately as a result of the changes, but was confident “they will start to experience real improvements” soon.

The Board’s CEO outlined how it had recruited experienced healthcare professionals to “key positions” so it can make the correct decisions “made on the best clinical advice.”

However, Nicholson said the “most significant shift” in emphasis is the way “we underpin all that we do” with a single focus on “improving the quality of care for our patients”.

Nicholson added that there are “no better words” to explain the work of the NHSCB than the principles and values set out in the opening paragraph of its constitution. The four short sentences describe how the NHS “belongs to the people”, how the health service aims to support patients “mentally and physically well”, to work at the “limits of science”, and to touch the lives of individuals at “times of basic human need, when care and compassion are what matter most.”