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Government’s Mandate to NHS England 2016-17

Volume 603: debated on Thursday 17 December 2015

Today the Government have laid before Parliament the mandate to NHS England for 2016-17. This mandate has been produced following public consultation, and will take effect from 1 April 2016.

The mandate sets the Government’s objectives for NHS England, as well as its budget. In doing so, the mandate sets direction for the NHS, and helps ensure NHS England is accountable to Parliament and the public. In accordance with the Health and Social Care Act 2012, the Secretary of State must publish a mandate each year, to ensure that NHS England’s objectives and any underpinning requirements remain up to date.

This mandate confirms this Government’s commitment to increase spending on the NHS in real terms every year in this Parliament. The NHS will receive £10 billion more per year in real terms by 2020-21 than in 2014-15. This investment backs in full the NHS’s own five year forward view and will mean patients receive seven-day health services, with hospitals providing the services people need at the weekend and people able to access a GP at evenings and weekends.

This mandate was produced following engagement with the statutory consultees, NHS England and Healthwatch England, and public consultation. We are grateful to those who responded. The public response was significantly higher than in previous years with approximately 127,400 responses received, providing a rich source of feedback that has helped shape the final mandate. The Government’s full response to the consultation, including a summary of what we heard and what we have changed in the mandate, has also been published today.

The new mandate sets out the priorities this Government believe are central to delivering the changes needed to ensure that free healthcare is always there whenever people need it. This mandate therefore sets NHS England the following objectives:

to improve local and national health outcomes and reduce inequalities through better commissioning, supported by the new assessment framework for clinical commissioning groups;

to help create the safest, highest quality health and care services seven days a week, including improved early diagnosis, services and outcomes for cancer patients;

to balance the NHS budget and improve efficiency and productivity;

to lead a step change in the NHS in preventing ill health and supporting people to live healthier lives, including improvement in the quality of care and support for people with dementia and increased public awareness;

to maintain and improve performance against core standards;

to improve out-of-hospital care, including reducing the health gap between people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism and the population as a whole; and

to support research, innovation and growth.

We are also laying before Parliament today a revised mandate for 2015-16 to take account of changes to NHS England’s budget, including additional funding announced in the spring Budget statement for children and young people’s mental health, and the transfer of commissioning responsibility for 0-5 year olds to local authorities from 1 October 2015.

Copies of both documents will be available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.

Attachments can be view online at: https://www.