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NHS England and NHS Improvement’s role in developing policy


NHS England and NHS Improvement have a role in:

  • developing policy
  • helping put a policy into action
  • helping NHS organisations understand what their responsibilities and actions should be
  • making sure Clinical Commissioning Groups have enough funding to do what is being asked of them

Making sure other organisations do a good job

NHS England and NHS Improvement also have an important role in making sure that other organisations do a good job and are providing a good quality service. We call this an ‘assurance’ role.

As part of their assurance role, NHS England does an assessment of Clinical Commissioning Groups every year. NHS Improvement does the same for NHS Foundation Trusts, NHS Trusts and independent health and care providers.

Guidance and good practice

NHS England and NHS Improvement also helps other organisations by producing statutory guidance and best practice guidance. ‘Statutory’ means that the guidance is about rules or laws which have been formally written down. ‘Best practice’ guidance is about helpful information.

Local policy

Of course, there are other people and organisations involved in the development and delivery of health and care policy – the NHS is a very complicated system! And not all policy is decided at a national level. Local systems will decide on their own priorities based on the needs of their local populations, the workforce they have available, and the relationships between different organisations.

Let’s do a quick quiz as a reminder of what you’ve just learnt about the role of policy, legislation, guidance and good practice.

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