Thursday, 19 November 2015

Setting the mandate to NHS England for 2016 to 2017

Public consultation on NHS priorities until 23th Nov. Hardly any publicity on this. Make your views heard:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/setting-the-mandate-to-nhs-england-for-2016-to-2017

There you will find a link to the consultation and to a response form (the governments priorities, as listed in the consultation, are shown at the foot of this post).

BFTFs responses were :

Q1) Do you agree with our aims for the mandate to NHS England?
"No"

Q2) Is there anything else we should be considering in producing the mandate to NHS England?
"Ensuring funding is on a par with other developed countries, which is not currently the case as opposed to blaming the cash starved NHS from failing to operate within and arbitrarily "budget".
Preventing CCG's from implementing short sighted cost cutting measures such as only fitting one hearing aid, or removing just one cateract.
Reducing waiting lists.
Stopping this ridiculous, unfunded, undefined, poorly evidenced "7 day healthcare" crusade.
Stopping this fiction that everyone can have 24/7 access to a GP - you know full well this is not achievable, that the UK is catastrophically short of GP's as it is and that emergency care is already available 24/7
Focussing on increasing physical activity as well as reducing obesity as the former has a greater health impact than the latter."
3) What views do you have on our overarching objective of improving outcomes and reducing health inequalities, including by using new measures of comparative quality for local CCG populations to complement the national outcomes measures in the NHS Outcomes Framework?
"In a system where staff are grossly overworked, there is a turmoil due to forced tendering and NHS is being asked to find £22billion of cuts (although I believe the government calls them "efficiency savings") these measures are almost an irrelevance."
4) What views do you have on our priorities for the health and care system?
"They are wrong. Increased funding should be a priority, and ridiculous crusades such as 24/7 GP access should be dropped."
5) What views do you have on how we set objectives for NHS England to reflect their contribution to achieving our priorities?
"The objectives are too politically oriented and focussed on meeting an arbitrary budget that is low by international standards."


BFTF was surprised to find that the email address to send responses to was full! So has asked local Conservative Party to ensure BFTF's response actually gets delivered.

Inbox says no

More on consultation, and the quietness of its publicity, here

Update 21 Nov :
The story of the full inbox ended up being covered by the Daily Mirror and the Indy.
NHS Nottingham kindly sent on BFTF's responses by letter.
No response from Nottingham Conservatives.

BFTF notes that, between 29th Oct and 19th Nov (i.e. prior to the media attention), the @DHgovuk Twitter account managed to Tweet about this important consultation exactly once, on the 29th Oct. In contrast, they managed to find time for over 60 Tweets about the Junior Doctors contract issue.

Was news of the NHS mandate consultation buried? You be the judge.

Governments Priorities (from consultation):

1.10. The new mandate will be based on the priorities this Government believes are central to delivering the changes needed to ensure that free healthcare is always there whenever people need it most. Our priorities for the health and care system as a whole are:

Preventing ill health and supporting people to live healthier lives. The escalating demands of ill health driven by our lifestyles also threaten the long-term sustainability of the NHS. It’s a priority to help people to live healthier lives by tackling obesity and preventable illness, and to improve quality of life for people with long-term conditions such as diabetes and those with dementia.

Creating the safest, highest quality health and care service, by securing high quality health and care services and 7-day hospital care to improve clinical outcomes.

Maintaining and improving performance against core standards while achieving financial balance, by ensuring the NHS meets the needs of patients and operates within its budget.

Transforming out-of-hospital care, ensuring services outside hospital settings are more integrated and accessible. As part of a new patient guarantee, this means by 2020, we will ensure every patient has routine access to a GP in the evenings and at weekends, as well as effective 24/7 access to urgent care. We will also strive to reduce the health gap between people with mental health problems and the population as a whole.

Driving improvements in efficiency and productivity by reducing waste and inefficiency to ensure every penny delivers the maximum possible benefit to patient care.

Supporting research, innovation and growth, and influencing global health priorities.


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