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NHS England (Mandate)

Volume 570: debated on Tuesday 12 November 2013

Today the Government have laid before Parliament the refreshed mandate to NHS England for 2014-15. The refreshed mandate will come into effect from 1 April 2014 and was developed following public consultation which ran from 5 July to 27 September.

The mandate sets an ambitious agenda to transform patient care and we expect NHS England to demonstrate significant progress against all the objectives by March 2015. To provide stability and enable the NHS to plan ahead, we have carried forward all existing 24 objectives. The Government have kept changes to an essential minimum to ensure the refreshed mandate remains strategic, outcomes-focused and affordable within NHS England’s budget, which is also set out in the mandate for 2014-15.

Where the Government have introduced changes, these focus on the priorities that will support the successful transformation of health and care services to meet the needs of an ageing population and the increasing prevalence of long-term physical and mental health conditions:

the vulnerable older people’s plan as a means for improving the health of the whole population and to provide excellent care for older people;

the addition of one new objective in relation to the system wide response to the Francis inquiry recommendations; and

taking forward actions to deliver a service that values mental and physical health equally.

The Government have included further ambitions on a limited number of areas to deliver the quality of care and treatment people need and expect. These areas are: reducing avoidable premature mortality; supporting people with dementia; improving patient experience—friends and family test; and making better use of resources.

The mandate also reflects the work being taken forward by NHS England to improve integrated care; addressing the failings witnessed at Winterbourne View private hospital; supporting a fair playing field for providers; improving outcomes for children and young people; and supporting innovation to improve patient care.

While the mandate sets out our vision over the long term, we also need to tackle immediate pressures. The Government previously announced their plans to handle pressures on A and E this winter and the allocation of £250 million funding to NHS England for distribution to the areas that need it most. The additional allocation requires an increase to the revenue budget for NHS England for 2013-14, and a revision to the current mandate will be laid before Parliament shortly reflecting this uplift in the budget only.

Alongside the mandate for 2014-15, we have published the Government’s response to the consultation and a refreshed version of the NHS outcomes framework 2014-15. Similar to the approach taken with the mandate, we have kept changes to the NHS outcomes framework to an essential minimum.

Copies of all these documents have been placed in the Library. Copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.