The Government is consulting on refreshing the Mandate to NHS England for 2014 to 2015. The Mandate sets the Government’s ambitions for the NHS as well as the funding available to achieve the kind of care people need and expect.
There have been crucial developments and new evidence that has emerged since the publication of the first Mandate, which calls on the government and NHS England to act.
The main proposed changes reflect these core priorities:
- the actions being taken forward by NHS England in response to the Francis Report to transform the care people receive
- working with NHS England to develop a vulnerable older people plan, which will improve support for older people and those with long term conditions, particularly through reform of primary care given its pivotal role within communities
- the need for the NHS to contribute to the recovery of the economy and make better use of resources in light of the challenging financial climate.
The Government is also proposing to make a number of targeted changes to the current Mandate objectives that are thought to be essential to achieve improvements in people’s care.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 requires the Mandate to be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that it remains up to date. It is important to provide the NHS with stability and continuity of purpose and we therefore propose to carry forward all the existing 24 objectives.
Services for people with mental health problems
One of the new objectives being added is to “ensure that there is adequate liaison psychiatry services to support effective crisis care” as well as ensuring A&E care for mental health crisis is as good as for physical emergencies. There is also a proposal to develop a range of costed options around access standards and waiting times for mental health services by March 2015.
They are also proposing to introduce the friends and family test to mental health services by December 2014.
Link to consultation documents: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/refreshing-the-nhs-mandate