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'The world's biggest quango'

The first five years of NHS England

In this study, commissioned jointly by the Institute for Government and The King’s Fund, Nicholas Timmins explores the fate of one of the central provisions of the Health and Social Care Act, NHS England, established as a statutorily independent board with the aim of distancing politicians from the day-to-day running of the NHS.

'The world’s biggest quango' draws on extensive, often exclusive, interviews, with some of those most intimately involved in the first five years of NHS England.

It doesn’t attempt to analyse the whole of the effect of the Act. It has a much narrower focus – to ask whether the objectives of establishing a statutorily independent board were fulfilled or disappointed. And, given that much of what has happened has turned out to be distinctly different from the original intentions of the legislation, what might be learnt from the first five years' existence of "the world’s biggest quango"?