As part of its quest, initially announced in July 2010, to scythe through the number of NHS arm’s length bodies to save an estimated £180 million by 2015, the Government has announced a consultation on proposals to transfer regulation of fertility treatment and the use of human tissue in the UK to the CQC and research in both areas to the Health Research Authority.

The primary aim of the consultation is to consider how their responsibilities should be structured and if, in an effort to save costs, they should be aligned with other agencies. Readers will be familiar with figures provided previously by the government that outline a hope that, by streamlining functions and reducing the number of NHS bodies overall, the NHS can deliver savings of over £180 million within the next three years.

The consultation seeks views from individuals and organisations as to whether:

  • All functions should transfer to the CQC, except HFEA functions relating to research that would pass to the Health Research Authority; and the HTA/HFEA be abolished
  • All functions should transfer, as set out above but with a limited number of functions transferring to organisations other than the CQC
  • The HFEA and HTA should retain their functions but deliver further savings The consultation ends on 28 September.