28 SHAs were created in 2002 to replace District Health Authorities. Part of their role was to advise the newly created Primary Care Trusts on how to spend their budget.
They were abolished by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act , and replaced by NHS England and Local Area Teams . Unlike these bodies that replaced them, SHAs had the advantage that they met in public and published their board papers. One of the threads running through all the reforms from the 1980s onwards is a consistent shift away from public accountability, which of course is to be expected as it is a characteristic difference between a health service in the public domain orientated towards patients and a health system increasingly orientated towards private providers and their concerns for profit.