Policy paper

NHS mandate 2016 to 2017

The mandate to NHS England sets out the government’s objectives for NHS England, as well as its budget.


The mandate helps set direction for the NHS and helps ensure the NHS is accountable to Parliament and the public. The mandate 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 to 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 an NHS that remains available to all, 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.