The NHS Commissioning Board has been launched initially in a shadow form.
Known as the NHS Commissioning Board Authority it will operate as an independent body from October 2013 before taking complete control in April 2013.
Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the Board, says that building the new system over the next two years is a “major challenge”.
The Authority will now oversee the establishment of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) – themselves in shadow form – which, along with the Board, will take on the responsibility for the majority of the NHS budget.
One of the Board’s first tasks will be to assist CCGs in making £20 billion of efficiency savings by 2015, whilst negotiating the new management system in the process.
“I firmly believe that what we are trying to achieve – a stronger, more innovative and more coherent commissioning system – will be critical to sustaining the NHS in years to come,” said Sir David.