Sir Malcolm Grant, Chair of NHS England, today welcomed the refreshed Mandate from the Government on behalf of the organisation.
“NHS England welcomes the refreshed Mandate. One of the objectives of the Government’s health reforms was to release the power of clinical leadership at all levels within the NHS and to distance the Government from its day to day operational management. The Mandate establishes the Government’s strategic objectives for the NHS, retaining a clear focus on outcomes rather than inputs and processes, and empowering commissioners to think creatively about how local populations are best served.
“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.
“We at NHS England share the Government’s ambition of putting mental health on a par with physical health and our vision is for a real change in attitude towards mental health and the way services are delivered so people experience a holistic approach to their care.
“We also 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.
“However, our ambitions for patients, as demonstrated by our radical 7 day services review, extend above and beyond the Mandate. NHS England is a new, dynamic organisation and we are making rapid progress across a wide range of areas.
“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.”
In response to the publication of the refreshed mandate, Sir Malcolm Grant has written to the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, setting out NHS England’s commitments, objectives and principles for securing the outcomes proposed in the Mandate.