News item

Archive of: November, 2012

  • Department publishes Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board

    The Department of Health has today published its finalised Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board. The Alliance had urged explicit consideration of the Board’s performance in directly commissioning specialised services to be included in the final Mandate, and is pleased to see that this has been recognised.

    The Mandate includes the following wording around the Board’s direct commissioning:

    “In all it does, whether in the Mandate or not, whether supporting local commissioners or commissioning services itself, the Commissioning Board is legally bound to pursue the goal of continuous improvement in the quality of health services.”

    “An objective is to ensure that, whether NHS care is commissioned nationally by the Board or locally by clinical commissioning groups, the results – the quality and value of the services – should be measured and published in a similar way, including against the relevant areas of the NHS Outcomes Framework. Success will be measured not only by the average level of improvement but also by progress in reducing health inequalities and unjustified variation.”

    The contribution of the Alliance to inform the development of the final Mandate was also noted in the Department’s summary of consultation responses, as follows:

    “the Specialised Healthcare Alliance argued that “the draft mandate might usefully note that the Board will be assessed not only on its contribution to broader social and economic objectives through its oversight of CCGs, but also through its direct commissioning functions.” We agree with this and have amended the mandate to reflect this.”

    The full Mandate is available here: