Politicians have this week pledged another “bonfire of the quangos”.

The budgets of arm’s-length bodies are to come under close scrutiny by both the Labour and Conservative parties, with Tory leader David Cameron promising that a Conservative government would rein in quangos’ spending.

Cabinet Office minister Liam Byrne has also ordered a review of spending by public bodies.

The policy making roles of health quangos, which include the Care Quality Commission, Monitor and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, are also being debated after Mr Cameron criticised “unelected organisations in our country paid for by the taxpayer to carry out aspects of government policy”.

CQC chairman Baroness Young responded: “Regulators and other non-departmental public bodies have hugely valuable insights into what might and might not work in practice.

“This should be routinely fed into the policy making process”

NHS Confederation policy director Nigel Edwards told HSJ: “Separating policy from implementation is not always easy.

“The process of implementation requires changes, interpretation and compromises which create real policy and at the very least learning that needs to be fed back into the design on future policy.

“We also need policy makers who have some notion of how their policy can be implemented and creating this insight may be difficult if they are isolated from the process.”