There will be no new money for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence when it starts next April, but it will take over the work and funding of existing organisations, it emerged this week.
Expected to be set up as an arm's-length special health authority as a result of legislation to be announced in the next Queen's speech, it will be accountable to the health secretary for its work programme and guidance.
Ministers expect it will carry out 30-50 appraisals each year of the most significant new clinical interventions.
NICE is expected to issue guidance on all aspects of the management of conditions from self-care through primary care to hospital and specialist services.
Money to run it will be switched from the National Prescribing Centre, the National Centre for Clinical Audit, the professional audit programme funded by the Department of Health and the effectiveness bulletins.
The Commission for Health Improvement will be independent of NICE, and will have a trouble-shooting role. It will carry out local reviews of every hospital in England.