Special health authorities are health authorities that provide a health service to the whole of England, not just to a local community. The National Blood Authority is an example of a special health authority.

They have been set up to provide a national service to the NHS or the public under section 9 of the NHS Act 1977. They are independent, but can be subject to ministerial direction in the same way as other NHS bodies.

I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.