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NHS England says other areas will devolve healthcare

NHS England chief executive has confirmed progress on devolution discussions and pilots in two regions outside Manchester at today’s NHS England board meeting, contrary to some earlier reports.

Simon Stevens’s update on devolution highlighted pilots across five London boroughs that were announced this week, and progress in the North East where another devolution arrangement is being discussed.

Devolution in Manchester has already led to GP practices being offered a new contract outside of the national contract.

Mr Stevens had previously cast doubt on devolution outside Manchester, though today he was clear that it would take place in regions that could meet the legal and financial viability criteria set by NHS England.

He addressed the Cornwall devolution plans, which look unlikely to take place after NHS Kernow CCG were issued legal directions to address their budgetary deficit.

Mr Stevens said: ‘[We are] continuing progress in our devolution discussions across the country, as part of this package you’ll see we’re recommending we reach agreement with Greater Manchester on our carved out ring fenced settlement for them.’