The Secretary of State holds regular accountability meetings with Professor Malcolm Grant, Chair of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority, usually on a bi-monthly basis. These meetings are also attended by Sir David Nicholson in his role of Chief Executive of the Board Authority.
The Secretary of State has decided that the minutes for these meetings will be published. This will continue as the Board Authority becomes the NHS Commissioning Board. Publication of the minutes is designed to ensure transparency, so that the NHS and the public at large can see what the Board and the Department are discussing as part of their formal accountability relationship.
This represents an unprecedented level of openness in the Government’s relationship with the NHS. It sits alongside the transparency provided by the Secretary of State’s Mandate, which will set the objectives of the Government clearly and in good time to allow the NHS Commissioning Board and the rest of the NHS to plan in response to them. Together, the Mandate and the open approach to accountability represent a more mature and productive relationship between Government and the NHS.