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NHS England: Mandate 2017-18

Volume 623: debated on Tuesday 21 March 2017

I have laid before Parliament the Government’s mandate to NHS England for 2017-18, in accordance with the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This outlines our objectives for NHS England and sets direction for the NHS as a whole. It also confirms NHS England’s budget for the coming year, including a 1.4% real-terms increase.

NHS England is responsible for arranging the provision of health services in England. Building on the current multi-year mandate, which came into effect on 1 April 2016 and set long-term objectives and goals to 2020, the renewed mandate focuses on the same seven high-level objectives:

to improve local and national health outcomes, and reduce health inequalities, through better commissioning;

to help create the safest, highest quality health and care service;

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;

to improve and maintain performance against core standards;

to improve out-of-hospital care; and

to support research, innovation and growth.

The mandate sets out the key annual deliverables in each area to achieve the 2020 goals.

The Government continue to support the NHS’s own five year forward view blueprint for transforming services to respond to the challenges of the future. The Government have committed to a £10 billion increase, over and above inflation, in NHS funding by 2020-21. In parallel, it is vital that the NHS delivers the productivity and efficiency gains set out in the five year forward view to live within its means and that NHS England ensures financial balance in the NHS, alongside NHS Improvement.

Core to the mandate is delivery of the NHS’s A&E turnaround plan to return the majority of trusts to the 95% standard by the end of the financial year. This will require close working with local authorities to reduce delayed discharges from hospital, following the Government’s injection of additional funding for social care in the spring Budget 2017; rolling out new models for urgent and emergency care to ensure patients receive care in the safest and most appropriate setting; and streamlining governance and oversight of A&E across NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The Government are investing more in mental health than ever before to support delivery of the ambitious goal, set out in the mandate, of 1 million more people with mental health conditions to access services by 2020. This includes embedding the first ever access and waiting times standards for talking therapies, eating disorders and early intervention in psychosis; and developing and implementing a five-year improvement plan for crisis and acute care.

The five year forward view set an ambitious vision for transforming out-of-hospital care for patients, including improving access to general practice; greater integration of primary, community and social care to provide personalised care for patients; rolling out new models of care across the population; and achieving early diagnosis, service and improved outcomes for cancer patients.

In the coming weeks, NHS England will set out its plan for delivering the five year forward view, which will summarise progress to date and set out a plan for future delivery, including the next stage of development for sustainability and transformation plan footprints and progress towards establishing accountable care organisations: 2017-18 should be the year in which we see concrete progress on these local sustainability and transformation plans, with NHS England supporting local leaders to drive improvement in outcomes. As part of this effort, the Government have already made £325 million of capital funding available for the best STPs over the next three years. In the autumn a further round of local proposals will be considered.

We are also laying before Parliament today a revised mandate for 2016-17 to take account of changes to NHS England’s budget, including for primary care transformation funding and the move to market rents by NHS Property Services.

Copies of the 2017-18 mandate and revised 2016-17 mandate can be viewed online as attachments at: