NHS reforms

16.07.15

Monitor and TDA merged and renamed ‘NHS Improvement’

Jeremy Hunt has announced the Monitor-NHS TDA merger will be renamed NHS Improvement in a speech at the King’s Fund today (16 July).

He appointed NHS England’s deputy chair Ed Smith as new chair of the body. Lord Darzi will be a non-executive director, but a chief executive is yet to be appointed.

The combined regulator will focus on supporting providers to become more efficient as well as providing higher quality care, Hunt said.

NHS England’s patient safety function led by Dr Mike Durkin will be moved to the new regulator.

He will now lead an Independent Patient Safety Investigation Scheme (IPSIS) hosted by NHS Improvement that will be based on the air accident investigation branch used by the airline industry.

Hunt said: "This will be central to the 'no blame' learning culture that has led to dramatic safety improvements in aviation - and it will do the same for healthcare."

Chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, welcomed the decision and commended an era of “much greater alignment across the national bodies”.

“This sets the stage for much greater alignment between the commissioning and system leadership work of NHS England and the new improvement and oversight function of NHS provider trusts.

“The Forward View argued the need for strategic coherence in the national leadership of the NHS, and today’s moves are another step towards that, with further steps to come,” he said.

Ed Smith will build on the work of Baroness Hanham, former chair of Monitor, to “support hospitals with the crucial work they have already started to balance their books and clamp down on spending on expensive staffing agencies,” a government report stated.

Smith said: “I look forward to getting to grips with forging an ever closer partnership between the two organisations and our partners in the NHS. I know there are great people working at both Monitor and TDA, and I am confident that we can deliver the changes needed for the provider sector.”

CQC chief executive David Behan said: “The NHS Improvement agency will play a vital role – a single agency focussed on ensuring that all NHS Trusts have the support they need to implement the improvements that they and CQC identify as necessary.

“And the new Independent Patient Safety Investigation Service will bring both additional opportunities to learn, and additional rigour, to the current system through its investigation of individual patient safety incidents – providing another route via which patients’ voices can be heard, and helping the NHS learn from its mistakes and make improvements based on that learning.”

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