childhospitalThe National Children’s Bureau and the Council for Disabled Children have welcomed the publication of the NHS Mandate for 2014/15 saying it will help to hold the health system to account on pledges to improve child health.

The Mandate is a statutory document published by the Department of Health to set priorities for the NHS in England. It is primarily published to set objectives for NHS England, but is also binding on other health agencies such as Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health and Wellbeing Boards.

Responding to the publication, Laura Courtney, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the NCB said: "We know that historically, child health has not had the level of priority that it should have in the NHS, and there has been a lack of accountability for children and young people’s outcomes.

"We welcome the inclusion of the Pledge in the NHS Mandate, as this will provide a genuine incentive for the health system to improve children and young people’s health outcomes. We urge the Government to keep a close eye on progress against this objective and ensure that NHS England and its partners are held to account.”

A pledge of better outcomes
In February of this year, NHS England joined a number of other health agencies in signing up to the Government’s ‘Better health outcomes for children and young people: Our pledge’. This set out a number of shared ambitions and commitments on improving the health of children and young people. The new NHS Mandate, effective from April next year, commits NHS England to working with partner organisations to take these forward.

Amanda Allard, Principal Officer for Health at the Council for Disabled Children added: "The inclusion of the Pledge in the NHS Mandate is particularly welcome for disabled children and those with long term conditions. We are keen to work with health services at a national and local level to use this lever, alongside statutory duties introduced by the Children and Families Bill, to create a more integrated approach to health support for disabled children."