NHS Commissioning Board local area teams map: naming with LAT-itude

List and links to individual pages on local area teams

Other maps of the new NHS: clinical commissioning groups (CCGs); commissioning support units (CSUs); specialised commissioning hubs and clinical senates.

I’ve been looking at NHS local area teams as part of a forthcoming report for my employer EHI Intelligence, which will also cover CCGs and CSUs. LATs, the 27 local offices of the NHS Commissioning Board, are another part of the new structure of NHS that comes into force as of 1 April. Among other things, they will provide access to centrally-run ICT systems such as NHSmail.

And, this being the NHS, the local area teams map below based on a PDF from the commissioning board* features names that don’t exist on any current map of England, or at least not in the same shape. There are some names shared with CCGs and CSUs – although there are also LATs which break new ground.

Map removed as Google Fusion Tables no longer works.

Many of the organisations in the NHS will be bemusing to anyone outside the health service. It’s not deliberate – the odd borders of LATs are basically down to health economies and hospital catchment areas. However, that doesn’t explain some of the choices of names – although a weakness for literature and history among senior NHS Commissioning Board executives might.

Wessex LAT: the ancient kingdom of Wessex once covered much of southern England, until England became one kingdom, quite a few centuries ago. It has survived through the novels of Thomas Hardy and as a water company – and now, as the new NHS name for Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Thames Valley LAT: this is a name recognisable from elsewhere in the public sector – specifically, Thames Valley Police. Both cover Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the former county of Berkshire… except that the NHS version doesn’t include Milton Keynes, and the police force does.

Hertfordshire and the South Midlands LAT: apparently, the South Midlands means Bedfordshire, Luton, Northamptonshire. And Milton Keynes.

Arden, Herefordshire and Worcestershire LAT: Arden, Shakespeare’s forest, also appears among the names for both CSUs and CCGs, and shares the mystical atmosphere of Wessex. It actually means Warwickshire and Coventry. The Herefordshire and Worcestershire bit of this LAT’s name sadly sees the removal of an ancient kingdom, as these two counties were part of the soon-to-be abolished West Mercia PCT cluster.

Obviously regional stereotypes should be eschewed, but it’s notable that all the LATs in the north of England region have sensible names, like Greater Manchester and Merseyside – which may no longer be counties, but as previously noted are apparently indestructible units within the NHS.

Maps of the 12 NHS clinical senates and 10 specialised commissioning hubs

* Update: this PDF was offline for a while, but has since reappeared on NHS England’s website, which also holds a list of LATs’ senior staff.