Government easing pressure on services by putting pressure on patients

Fri, 23 March 2018

National Voices responds to the Department of Health and Social Care's Mandate to NHS England, which includes a relaxation of waiting time targets.

The Department of Health and Social Care has published the NHS mandate 2018 to 2019. The mandate is the formal process through which government sets priorities and budget for NHS England.

The mandate for 2018 to 2019 includes a relaxation of the four-hour Accident and Emergency waiting time target and the 18-week Referral To Treatment target.  

Commenting, Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive of National Voices, said:

The government is easing pressure on health and care services by putting pressure on patients.

Rather than meeting the funding needs of the NHS and social care, the government is diminishing service standards. The losers will be the many more thousands of people waiting for treatment in pain, discomfort and frustration – and with their health put at risk by further delay.

This is a decisive move away from the rights set out in the NHS Constitution, yet there has been no public debate and no proper engagement with citizens and the charities that support patients. This is not right. We need a better way for managing the increased pressures on the NHS.

As it stands, rights are being abandoned, outcomes undermined, and organisations that represent the people affected are shut out from decision making.


For further information, please contact National Voices’ Head of Communications, Andrew McCracken on 020 3176 0737 or