Responding to the publication of the NHS Commissioning Board Mandate, Anna Dixon, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said:
‘Getting the Mandate right is important to ensure that the NHS Commissioning Board is effectively accountable for its work. Ministers have listened to the concerns that we and others raised about the need for a clearer and more focused set of objectives - today’s document is much better than the one originally consulted on.
‘We strongly welcome the clearer focus on improving the health of older people and those with long-term conditions. The best way to achieve this is by accelerating the delivery of integrated care so we also welcome the priority given to this. The Mandate should be a catalyst in moving integrated care from a subject for discussion in the policy arena to making it happen at scale and pace across the country.
‘It is pleasing to see that mental health has been given parity with physical health - our own work shows that physical and mental health needs often overlap. Mental health must not simply be tacked on to physical health but should be an integral part of it.
‘The Mandate includes a strong focus on decentralisation and freeing up local organisations to innovate. The real test will be how this translates into practice, especially given the tight financial climate and need to maintain financial control.’
Notes to editors:
For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2632 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146 035).