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New health 'contract' announced

The first ever 'contract' between the health services and the Government has been announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. It includes plans to improve 'the patient experience' and mental health care.

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Ministers hails new NHS Mandate

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt set out goals to improve the nation's health through the first ever NHS Mandate later.

Ministers are hailing the Mandate as a "landmark" for the NHS, by ensuring the health service is held to account.

He will identify priorities including:

  • reducing avoidable mortality
  • improving patient experience
  • helping patients with long-term conditions such as dementia and diabetes

It is also expected to include pledges concerning improvements for maternity units and mental health services.

Ministers claim that the document gives frontline health professionals more power and independence to deliver care.

The Mandate will form an agreement between ministers and the NHS Commissioning Board, a new body which will supervise the new GP-led commissioning groups that will come into play when the NHS reforms take effect next year.

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