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Jane Ellison - Department of Health

A minute had been laid before Parliament regarding the Department of Healths 15m investment into the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) and specifically in relation to incurring a contingent liability. A copy of the minute is attached.

The DDF was publicly announced on 21 October and is an investment fund that currently stands at $100million for the discovery of new approaches to dementia research and drug development.

The Limited Partnership Deed for the DDF includes clauses relating to indemnification. The majority of indemnifications are made by the DDF itself rather than the investors and is therefore limited to 15m. However, there is also a direct indemnification made by all the investors, including the Department of Health. The direct indemnification is triggered in certain circumstances largely relating to where the Department of Health has provided inaccurate or misleading information. Such circumstances are highly unlikely and most are within the Departments own control. The Department was advised by external legal advisers that it is not possible to quantify any potential liabilities. The Department has taken steps to mitigate the risks of the liability being realised. A senior Department of Health civil servant has been allocated as the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for the Governments investment into the DDF. The SRO, amongst other things, has responsibility for final sign off for providing any information to the DDF on behalf of the Department.

If the liability is called, then provision for any payment will be sought through the normal supply procedures. The Treasury has approved the proposal.

Mr Jeremy Hunt - Department of Health

Today the Government has laid before Parliament the mandate to NHS England for 2016-17. This mandate has been produced following public consultation, and will take effect from 1 April 2016.

The mandate sets the Governments objectives for NHS England, as well as its budget. In doing so, the mandate sets direction for the NHS, and helps ensure NHS England is accountable to Parliament and the public. In accordance with the Health and Social Care Act 2012, the Secretary of State must publish a mandate each year, to ensure that NHS Englands objectives and any underpinning requirements remain up to date.

This mandate confirms this Governments commitment to increase spending on the NHS in real terms every year in this Parliament. The NHS will receive 10 billion more per year in real terms by 2020-21 than in 2014-15. This investment backs in full the NHSs own Five Year Forward View and will mean patients receive 7-day health services, with hospitals providing the services people need at the weekend and people able to access a GP at evenings and weekends.

This mandate was produced following engagement with the statutory consultees, NHS England and Healthwatch England, and public consultation. We are grateful to those who responded. The public response was significantly higher than in previous years with approximately 127,400 responses received, providing a rich source of feedback that has helped shape the final mandate. The Governments full response to the consultation, including a summary of what we heard and what we have changed in the mandate, has also been published today.

The new mandate sets out the priorities this Government believes are central to delivering the changes needed to ensure that free healthcare is always there whenever people need it. This mandate therefore sets NHS England the following objectives:

  • to improve local and national health outcomes and reduce inequalities through better commissioning, supported by the new assessment framework for clinical commissioning groups;
  • to help create the safest, highest quality health and care services 7 days a week, including improved early diagnosis, services and outcomes for cancer patients;
  • to balance the NHS budget and improve efficiency and productivity;
  • to lead a step change in the NHS in preventing ill health and supporting people to live healthier lives, including improvement in the quality of care and support for people with dementia and increased public awareness;
  • to maintain and improve performance against core standards;
  • to improve out-of-hospital care, including reducing the health gap between people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism and the population as a whole; and
  • to support research, innovation and growth.

We are also laying before Parliament today a revised mandate for 2015-16 to take account of changes to NHS Englands budget, including additional funding announced in the Spring Budget statement for children and young peoples mental health, and the transfer of commissioning responsibility for 0-5 year olds to local authorities from 1 October 2015.

Copies of both documents are attached and will be available to honourable Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.


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