Government publishes NHS England Mandate

14 November 2013
2014-15 mandate sets out directions and ambitions to maintain and improve the NHS in England.

The NHS Mandate for England was published yesterday and sets out the following improvements in the quality of care it offers, which the government expects to be delivered by March 2015. According to the mandate NHS England should:

1. Help people live well for longer

2. Manage ongoing physical and mental health conditions

3. Help people to recover from episodes of ill health or following injury

4. Make sure people experience better care

5. Provide safe care

6. Free the NHS to innovate

7. Support the NHS to play a broader role in society

8. Make better use of resources.

Sir Malcolm Grant, Chair of NHS England, welcomed the refreshed mandate saying:

“The new healthcare commissioning system has only been in place for seven months, yet real progress has been already made under challenging circumstances. Commissioners are making full use of the newly conferred flexibility to respond to local need, especially for older people with long-term conditions. Many are developing tailored schemes to identify and treat undiagnosed illnesses, working directly in partnership with local authorities to ensure health and social care services are organised around patient needs.

He went on to stress the importance of improving care for older people and of partnership working:

“We fully support and continue to work with the Department of Health in finalising the proposals for the Vulnerable Older People’s Plan (VOPP), drawing on the best of the work clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have already developed in improving services for older people. It is essential that the VOPP is outcomes-focused, to ensure flexibility according to local need, as well as being affordable and deliverable.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners across health and social care to maintain momentum and focus to deliver the improved outcomes that we all want to see.”

Simon Chapman, Director of Public and Parliamentary Engagement at the National Council for Palliative Care said:

"We welcome the fact that the Government emphasised to NHS England the importance of ensuring the highest standards of care, particularly for older people and at the end of people’s lives. This was something NCPC and partners had pushed for, and we are glad that we were listened to.

Somebody dies in Britain every minute, and we only have one chance to get it right for them. This high-level aspiration in the Mandate must be followed through with political will and resources to make compassionate and dignified care for everybody a reality. We need to measure the success of the reformed NHS by the way in which it cares for people at the end of their lives."

You can download the full mandate here.

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