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Consultation: The Government's Mandate to NHS England

Department of Health written statement – made on 29th October 2015.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Secretary of State for Health

Today I am launching a consultation on the mandate to NHS England to 2020. The consultation will close on Monday 23 November, in preparation for the publication of a new mandate to NHS England following the Government’s Spending Review, to take effect from April 2016.

The mandate to NHS England 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 the NHS 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 remain up to date.

This consultation document sets out, at a high level, how the Government proposes to set the mandate to NHS England for the course of this Parliament. The mandate will be finalised in light of consultation responses and subject to the outcome of the Government’s Spending Review.

The new mandate will be based on the priorities this Government believes are central to delivering the changes needed to ensure that free healthcare is always there whenever people need it most. Our priorities for the health and care system as a whole are:

- Creating the safest, high quality health and care service in the world by securing high quality health and care services and seven day care to improve clinical outcomes;

- Maintaining and improving performance against core standards of access while achieving financial balance;

- Transforming out-of-hospital care to ensure services outside hospital settings are more integrated and accessible, and that every patient has routine access to a GP in the evenings and at weekends, as well as effective 24/7 access to urgent care. We will also strive to reduce the health gap between people with mental health problems and the population as a whole;

- Driving improvements in efficiency and productivity by reducing waste and inefficiency to ensure every penny delivers the maximum possible benefit to patient care;

- Improving and reducing variation in outcomes and quality of care at a national and local level;

- Preventing ill health and supporting people to live healthier lives by tackling obesity and improving quality of life for people with long term conditions such as diabetes and those with dementia; and

- Supporting research, innovation and growth, and influencing global health priorities.

The Government welcomes views on the proposals and invites comments through the consultation process. The consultation document can be accessed online at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/setting-the-mandate-to-nhs-england-for-2016-to-2017.