Requirement to get ‘Dramatically Better’ at involving patients welcomed in Mandate to the Commissioning Board

Tue, 13 November 2012

National Voices, the health and care charity coalition, welcomes changes to the Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board and particularly the new Board objective “to ensure the NHS becomes dramatically better at involving patients and their carers”.

The changes were announced today by Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

The much improved ‘patient involvement’ objective signals a desire for a significant cultural shift towards building people’s “knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their own health”, and personalised care planning.

Don Redding, National Voices’ Director of Policy, says:

“National Voices and its allies pressed the government really hard to get a proper focus on patient involvement, which is proven to improve outcomes and the experience of care, and to make best use of everyone’s resources. This final version is much improved and will enable the Board to tell a clear story about how services need to change.

“We also welcome the fact that this sits alongside the objective on better coordination of care around people’s needs, preferences and control. Coordinated care and patient involvement should be the two interlocking hemispheres of a radically changed culture.”

However, National Voices warned that the Board and clinical commissioners should not ‘wall off’ these ambitions in a new ‘long term conditions silo’. These objectives are also vital for better experience of care generally, for the prevention of conditions getting worse, and for recovery from ill health, for example. It also noted that the government has not followed advice to highlight the key indicator - that of ‘being involved in decisions as much as you wanted to be’.

National Voices also welcomed a greater emphasis in the Mandate on tackling dementia and on mental health, where the ambition is to close the health gap between people with mental health problems and the population as a whole.    

For more information on National Voices visit; Twitter: @NVTweeting


For National Voices media enquiries please contact: Jules Acton or Sarah Scadding on 020 3176 0737 / 0738

About National Voices
National Voices is the national coalition of health and social care charities in England. We work together to strengthen the voice of patients, service users, carers, their families and the voluntary organisations that work for them. We have more than 150 members with 130 charity members and 20 professional and associate members. 

Our broad membership, rooted in people’s experience, represents millions of people, and covers a diverse range of health conditions and communities.