The Government’s draft mandate for commissioning is too confusing, too detailed and fails to emphasise its main priorities, directors from the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) have said.
Professor Malcolm Grant, NHSCB Chair, said there are parts of the draft mandate which go “further than you would have wished”.
Speaking at the Board’s monthly meeting in Leeds, Professor Grant said he now aims to rewrite the document with the Department of Health in order to simplify it.
“Given that it is so unique an opportunity, it would be immensely powerful as a document were it to seize the transformation agenda, to understand that the whole point of these difficult reforms has been to transform the quality of healthcare for patients,” he said. “In other words, a document that sets out quite simply what the high level objectives are.”
Mr Grant’s comments were echoed by Sir David Nicholson, NHSCB Chief Executive. “There is something here we can work on but it is some way from where we need it to be,” he said.
“Where you have process-driven targets you need to be really clear about how, and why, and what for. Just listing things down is difficult to communicate and difficult to work with people on.
“We can work on this and get it into a much better place for patients, and the system we want to run.”
Tim Kelsey, the Board’s Director for Patients and Information, added that a “massive historic opportunity” would be missed if the document is not revised correctly.