Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) today welcomed the mandate from the Government on behalf of the organisation.
As the NHS CB moves towards taking on its full responsibilities in April 2013, the mandate signals a major step on the road to a more liberated and innovative NHS that can be more responsive to its patients.
Sir David said:
“Our aim and passion is to deliver a better NHS on behalf of patients and the public. We will do this by working side by side with local clinical leaders; by focussing relentlessly on the outcomes that the NHS delivers for people; and by freeing those on the frontline to transform services in line with the needs of local communities.
“The mandate enables us to do this. It marks a major step on the road to the more liberated and innovative NHS that can be more responsive to its patients.
“Make no mistake, the NHS will find this a challenging and stretching ask – and it comes against the most challenging financial environment the NHS has ever experienced. But I believe the goals are achievable.
“The mandate avoids the danger of excessively prescribing the actions of health professionals. We in the NHS Commissioning Board want to ensure power in the NHS sits with those who are closest to the patients. Our role will be to work closely with local clinical leaders and provide the support they need. Our role is not to tell them what to do.”
“I am under no illusions about the scale of the task. There will be bumps in the road and we will have to learn from them.
“But I have been greatly impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment shown by our new clinical leaders and I look forward to us continuing to work in partnership to do what’s best for patients in the coming years.
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do things differently. We will succeed only by releasing the energy, ideas and commitment of front-line staff and organisations. The NHS Commissioning Board wholeheartedly embraces this challenge.”
The Chair of the NHS Commissioning Board, Malcolm Grant, added:
“The publication of the Government’s mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board marks a vital milestone in the liberation of the NHS.
“It sets clear objectives for the NHS for the coming two years, couched in terms of outcomes for patients, and it recognises that the NHS CB and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) must operate independently from day-to-day political control.
“The aim of the NHS CB is to secure greatest value to patients from the nation’s investment in the NHS. We will oversee delivery against the mandate, and compliance with commissioners’ broader legal duties.
“And we will ensure maximum freedom for CCGs, so that local clinical leaders may respond more effectively to the needs of their local population. They will need to innovate and transform local health services to meet the needs and wishes of patients, while assuring the delivery of improved outcomes.
“This is an exceptionally challenging yet exciting time for the NHS, and through the mandate the Government has laid the foundation for a locally responsive, clinically-led NHS, focused on improving outcomes for the people of England.”
The Government’s mandate can be viewed in full on the Department of Health website.