NCAS, the body that provides support to performers, employers and list holders in cases of deficient medical, dental and pharmaceutical practice, will become an operating division of the NHS Litigation Authority (“NHSLA”) on 1 April 2013.
The body, formerly part of the National Patient Safety Agency, has been hosted by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) since April 2012. NCAS governance responsibilities will transfer to the board of the NHSLA, chaired by Professor Dame Joan Higgins, in April next year.
NCAS runs a 24-hour advice line for clinicians, health managers and commissioners, as well as offering support, education and clinical assessment services. The NHSLA, the body which deals with NHS claims (including claims by patients who have been harmed by NHS treatment) also has a role in enabling providers to learn lessons from claims, to better manage risks and to improve patient and staff safety.
Readers will recall that the arm's-length bodies review decided that NCAS should move towards a self-funding model, with the aim of becoming independent of central funding. Although a date for this has not yet been set, Ministers have requested that NCAS make preparations during 2013-14 for raising a proportion of its income through self-funding during 2014-15, with the aim of increasing this proportion progressively over succeeding years until 100 per cent self-funding can be safely achieved.