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Editor’s blog Thursday 27 May 2010: Update on SHA assurance scheme reports

You've seen the recent announcement that SHAs are to be abolished (or more likely, to be migrated to regional branches of the independent commissioning board, avoiding redundancy costs).

Which might be thought annoying in regard to my recent interest in why the SHA assurance process appeared to have been stopped in its tracks.

But I would suggest it is not any kind of wild goose chase.

The latest response from NHS Yorkshire and the Humber has just arrived, and says, "the Department of Health’s Assurance report was received by the SHA on 30 April. It is scheduled to be received by the SHA Board in public session on 6 July. The agenda and papers for the Board are published on our website and will be available for the July meeting from 1 July at the following link:

Big deal? Much depends on how you interpret:
a) Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's expressed view on SHAs' intermediate role to be, prior to their April 2012 abolition (which I wrote about here); and
b) the role they will have as the regional offices of the independent commissioning board.

Because make no mistake, the staff of the independent commissioning board's regional offices will be broadly the same set of people currently working in SHAs.

This is partly because there is not enough money to pay for redundancies, and partly because the ICB (regional) will need people who know the terrain.

So what we learn about SHA's capacity and capability in these reviews matters. Really quite a lot.