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NHS: Procurement

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with patient representatives on changes to the portfolio of the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory Group in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. (141238)

The Secretary of State has had no discussions with patient representatives about changes to the portfolio of the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory Group (now known as the National Commissioning Group (NCG)) in the last 12 months.

Due to the very specialised nature of the services in the NCG’s portfolio, clinical advisers to the NCG ensure that discussions take place with the patient representative groups specific to individual services. (Examples of the relationships between individual patient representative groups and the NCG are set out in its annual report.)

“The Review of Commissioning Arrangements for Specialised Services” published in May 2006, recommended the strengthening of patient involvement in the NCG decision-making process. To help achieve this, the Appointments Commission are currently running an open competition to appoint lay members to the group.