Policy paper

NHS mandate 2016 to 2017

The mandate sets out the government’s objectives and budget for NHS England.



The mandate helps set direction for the NHS and helps ensure the NHS is accountable to Parliament and the public. It must be published each year, to ensure that NHS England’s objectives remain up to date. This mandate was produced following public consultation.

By setting a multi-year mandate with a multi-year budget the government is enabling the NHS to plan more effectively. This will help deliver our long-term aim to achieve the transformation set out in the NHS’s Five Year Forward View and create a fully 7-day NHS.

This mandate reaffirms the government’s commitment to a NHS that remains available to all. It’s a commitment based on clinical need and not ability to pay, and that is able to meet patients’ needs and expectations now and in the future.

The financial directions accompanying the mandate set out certain additional and expenditure controls to which NHS England must adhere. These stem from budgetary controls that HM Treasury applies to the Department of Health.

Published 17 December 2015
Last updated 20 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated with revised mandate to NHS England, including amended budget figure on p.11. The revised financial directions to NHS England set out NHS England’s revised total revenue and capital budgets for 2016-17, reflecting additional revenue funding which has been made available since the original financial directions were published in December 2015.

  2. Updated to include financial directions from the government to NHS England 2016 to 2017.

  3. First published.