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Government slashes number of health quangos

By Gareth Iacobucci

The Government has slashed the number of health quangos as part of its mass cull of bureaucracy in the public sector.

The move, which reduces the number of health quangos from 40 to 10, will see a host of committees and regulators abolished, merged with other organisations or absorbed into the Department of Health.

Changes include the abolition of the Health Protection Agency (HPA), which will have its functions transferred to a new Public Health Service, and the scrapping of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority, which will both see their functions transferred to other regulators.

Several quangos are to be reformed as groups of experts brought in to advise the Government. These include the Advisory Board on the Registration of Homeopathic Products, the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections, the Human Genetics Commission and advisory committees on borderline substances, dangerous pathogens, hepatitis, the safety of devices and aspects of radiation and the environment.

Ten quangos being retained are: the Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards, the British Pharmacopoeia Commission, the Care Quality Commission, the Commission on Human Medicines, the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, Medical Education England, Monitor, the NHS Pay Review Body and the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB).

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