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Central Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group

Devo Manc leaders accept national NHS regulation

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Leaders of the Greater Manchester devolution project have accepted that national bodies such as Monitor will still be responsible for regulating NHS services in the region.

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However, Ian Williamson, interim chief officer for the project, told LGC’s sister title Health Service Journal there will still need to be a new regulation model for the region, with input from local leaders.

This would mean regulators, including the Care Quality Commission, focusing less on the performance of an individual provider, instead taking a broader “health system approach”, he said.

He said there was “frustration” with current models, and discussions are taking place with Monitor and the CQC over new arrangements.

There had been some uncertainty over regulation responsibility since the devolution project was announced in February.

Councils and the NHS in Greater Manchester had initially sought to lead the regulation of NHS providers in the area, but the wording around this was watered down in the final version of the memorandum of understanding with NHS England.

Last week there was an amendment to the devolution bill passed in the Lords, which said regulatory or supervisory functions could not be transferred from national bodies.

Asked whether NHS regulation in Manchester will still have to be the responsibility of national bodies, a spokeswoman for the devolution project said: “Yes, we’ll still be part of the NHS, and will work closely with regulators to agree exactly how to work together.”

Meanwhile, Mr Williamson does not expect Greater Manchester to seek different performance targets, as it will still be subject to the NHS constitution.

There is a clear desire to have more influence over the number of training places commissioned by Health Education England, with leaders wanting “more of an input”, Mr Williamson added.

When asked about possible changes to the national tariffs, he said: “There’s nothing yet on tariffs.”

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