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

This is a term originally coined by EU mandarins when talking about devolving power and decision-making being done at the most appropriate level.

The NHS Operating Framework for 2009/10 introduced the term subsidiarity into the NHS and in this context it means devolving power to the patient. PCTs will be expected to strengthen their focus on subsidiarity while still delivering national priorities in the current three-year comprehensive spending round. How they do it is up to each PCT.

As the DH puts it: ‘Patient experience is the final arbiter of success.'