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Practical Commissioning's Jargon Buster explains the meaning of the term 'Decommissioning'.

Decommissioning means the termination of a service from a provider.

This usually happens because the PCT wants a different service introduced to better suit local patients' needs.

A service can also be decommissioned if a provider is in breach of contract or there are quality concerns.

There were reports that two thirds of PCTs failed to decommission any services in 2007.

The DH's World Class Commissioning drive with its focus on scrutiny of contracts and existing services means decommissioning is set to intensify over the next year.