The National Children's Bureau have welcomed the first Mandate between the Government and the NHS Commissioning Board created today [13 Nov].

In particular, they are pleased with the new requirements to report on premature deaths amongst children and young people and the 'potential years of life lost' to preventable causes.

The NHS Mandate sets out the government's ambitions for the health service over the next two years and is structured around five key areas where the Commissioning Board is expected to make improvements:
■preventing people from dying prematurely
■enhancing quality of life for people with long-term conditions
■helping people to recover from episodes of ill health or following injury
■ensuring that people have a positive experience of care
■treating and caring for people in a safe environment and protecting them from avoidable harm.

Zoe Renton, the NCB's Head of Policy said: "NCB welcomes today's publication of the Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board which will hold the NHS to account for the quality and value of the services it provides. We also welcome the importance placed on 'joined up care' between the NHS and local authorities across health, education and social services, particularly for vulnerable children, those in their early years, and disabled children, for whom better integration of services is key to better health outcomes.

"However, there is still much work to be done to bring standards of children's health in the UK in line with other parts of Western Europe. While the Mandate provides a welcome step forward in improving the UK's performance in child health, we look forward to the Government's Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Strategy which, we hope will significantly build on these commitments and place children at the heart of the NHS."

Through the Mandate, the NHS will be measured, for the first time, by how well it achieves the things that really matter to people across several key objectives including:
■better care for women during pregnancy, including a named midwife responsible for ensuring personalised, one-to-one care throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period
■every patient will be able to give feedback on the quality of their care through the Friends and Family Test starting from next April
■by 2015 everyone will be able to book their GP appointments online, order a repeat prescription online and talk to their GP online
■preventing premature deaths from the biggest killers
■by 2015, everyone should be able to find out how well their local NHS is providing the care they need, with the publication of the results it achieves for all major services.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: "This Mandate is about giving the NHS the right priorities to deal with those challenges. By focusing on what matters to patients, and giving doctors and other professionals the freedom to deliver, we will make sure the NHS stays relevant to our needs and continues providing the best possible care for us all."

Visit http://mandate.dh.gov.uk/ for more information

Posted 13/11/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com