A new national body will be set up by the Department of Health to co-ordinate the commissioning of specialist paediatric and orthopaedic services.

A new national body will be set up by the Department of Health to co-ordinate the commissioning of specialist paediatric and orthopaedic services.

The National Specialised Services Commissioning Group will co-ordinate commissioning and make national decisions to help make the process more effective.

It will work through specialised commissioning groups based at each strategic health authority, which will be responsible for commissioning arrangements for services where the planning population is much greater than that of a primary care trust. Specialist services include orthopaedics, paediatrics and medium and low-security mental health services.

All primary care trusts will have to be a member of their local specialised commissioning group, and will be bound by its decisions.

A few services will continue to be commissioned nationally through the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory Group, which will become a subdivision of the National Specialised Services Commissioning Group.