Monitor is dissolving its Co-operation and Competition Panel – the body which advises it on competition issues, the regulator has announced.

However two members of the panel – John Swift QC and John Wotton – are being retained to advise the regulator.

Originally an independent body, the CCP was transferred to Monitor in April 2013 when the latter was handed responsibility for overseeing NHS competition by the Health and Social Care Act.

A spokesman for the regulator said the decision was about “bringing decision-making into line with Monitor’s governance processes”.

“We’re retaining the expertise [of panel members] but the panel as a decision making body or separate element of Monitor’s governance will cease to be as the members’ terms of appointment expire,” he said. 

Mr Swift and Mr Wotton will instead attend meetings of the co-operation and competition executive – the internal group, chaired by Monitor chief executive David Bennett, which oversees the regulator’s competition work.

Health competition consultant Andrew Taylor, who was the founding director of the CCP, told HSJ the move was a “natural progression” that resolved “anomalous” arrangements which had created a second board-like structure within Monitor in addition to the main board.

 “[The panel] weren’t making decisions any longer… because the decisions were being made by either the Monitor executive team or the Monitor board, so it was a bit anomalous, those arrangements.

“Ultimately they were going to have to transition away from [the CCP] but… what they had to be careful about was not losing all the competition expertise.

“So this seems to be a sensible way of effecting that change and retaining that expertise but getting rid of what was a legacy structure,” Mr Taylor said.