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Changes to NCAS will not be for worst

Thank you for your article about NCAS's move from being centrally funded to becoming self-funded. (NCAS self-funding plans could compromise mediation standards, LMCs warn)

Our move to self-funding was determined by Liberating the NHS: report of the arms-length bodies review, published in July 2010.

It was made clear to us when the report was published and subsequently by the Department of Health and our stakeholders – including LMC colleagues – that NCAS's core services must remain accessible.

In developing our future funding model, we will ensure that the model does not in any way inhibit referrals.

At present, members of the medical profession do not pay for NCAS – in cases of remediation, they may contribute to the costs of it along with their contracting or employing trusts.

There are no plans in place to change this position in the move to self-funding.

NCAS will be hosted by NICE for a year and will remain a ‘freestanding' body, as described in your article.

Our future model work is being taken forward with the Department of Health and is unrelated to the hosting arrangement with NICE. We will continue to provide our core services during this year.

As part of our ongoing work to improve our services, we will be embarking on a programme of stakeholder engagement and will continue to ensure the involvement of LMC colleagues.


From Lynn Hugo

Interim Director, National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS)