NHS England

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This article is about the oversight body. For the health service in England, see National Health Service (England).
NHS England
NHS England logo.png
non-departmental public body overview
Formed April 1, 2013 (2 years ago) (2013-04-01)
Jurisdiction England
Headquarters Leeds
non-departmental public body executives Professor Sir Malcolm Grant CBE, Chairman
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive
Parent department Department of Health
Website www.england.nhs.uk

NHS England is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health.

NHS England oversees the budget, planning, delivery and day-to-day operation of the commissioning side of the NHS in England as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.[1] It holds the contracts for GPs and NHS dentists.

NHS England comprises around 6,500 staff in 50 sites around England. The bulk of its staff previously worked for the decommissioned Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities.


NHS England is the operating name of the NHS Commissioning Board and, before that, the NHS Commissioning Board Authority.[2] It was set up as a special health authority of the NHS in October 2011 as the forerunner to becoming an NDPB on 1 April 2013.[3] It was renamed NHS England on 26 Mar 2013.[4] Its legal name remains the NHS Commissioning Board.

Sir David Nicholson who became Chief Executive at the establishment of the Board retired at the end of March 2014 and was replaced by Simon Stevens. One of Stevens' first acts was to announce a restructure of its 27 area teams in response to a requirement to reduce running costs which would reduce staffing by around 500.[5] The 27 teams outside London are to be reduced to 12 in 2015.[6]

Primary Care[edit]

Applications by GPs to reduce their catchment area are dealt with by NHS England. Requests to reduce the number of patients eligible to join a practice and in some cases also to deregister existing patients, have risen with 26 made between April and October 2014 compared to 30 for the whole of 2013/14. Only 15 have been approved.[7]

In November 2014 Mr Justice Popplewell declared that NHS England “has acted unlawfully by reason of its failure to make arrangements for the involvement of patients in primary care commissioning decisions as required by the National Health Service Act 2006”. The case involved the decision to scrap minimum practice income guarantee. Richard Stein, a partner at Leigh Day, said the declaration could mean that patients would have to be involved in discussions on changes to the GP contract.[8]

See also General medical services

Specialist Commissioning[edit]

The organisation is responsible for dealing with Individual Funding Requests in respect of the specialist services it commissions.

It has been criticised for delays in deciding on a policy for the prescription of Everolimus in the treatment of Tuberous Sclerosis. 20 doctors addressed a letter to the board in support of the charity Tuberous Scelerosis Association saying " around 32 patients with critical need, whose doctors believe everolimus treatment is their best or only option, have no hope of access to funding. Most have been waiting many months. Approximately half of these patients are at imminent risk of a catastrophic event (renal bleed or kidney failure) with a high risk of preventable death."[9]


The organisation's responsibilities include arbitration in disputes between Clinical commissioning groups and NHS Trusts.[10]


  1. ^ "About us". NHS Commissioning Board. Retrieved 12 Feb 2013. 
  2. ^ "About us". NHS England. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "About us". NHS Commissioning Board Authority. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "NHS England Chairman welcomes new name". NHS England. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Exclusive: NHS England to cut hundreds of posts in restructure". Health Service Journal. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Revealed: NHS England's new area team structure". Health Service Journal. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "NHS England rejects one in four requests to shrink GP catchment areas". Pulse. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "NHS England primary care decisions 'unlawful', High Court rules". Health Service Journal. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Lintern, Shaun (14 April 2015). "Policy delays risk 'preventable deaths', doctors warn NHS England". Health Service Journal. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Mapped: Quarter of area teams resort to NHS England arbitration". Health Service Journal. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 

External links[edit]