During March 2014, NHS England, through its four regions and 27 area teams, began an assessment of compliance with the service specifications of public health programmes covered by the section 7A agreement. Area teams discussed service specification compliance with service providers as part of 2014-15 contract negotiations and requested that, where they had not previously undertaken a compliance self-assessment against the service specifications, these were undertaken before the end of quarter one of 2014-15. Where providers identify that they are not fully compliant with the service specification, area teams discuss the impact with providers, agreeing a service development improvement plan to be delivered before the end of quarter four of 2014-15. These plans are supported by derogation (a licence to operate outside a national service specification for a time-limited period).
NHS England will monitor the delivery of action plans and apply contract sanctions where necessary.