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Building the NHS of the Five Year Forward View - NHS England Business Plan 2015-2016

This business plan for 2015/16 reflects our commitment to the vision set out in the Five Year Forward View that we and our NHS partners published last October. It is a demanding programme, and it has to be pursued in an acutely challenging financial environment. Demand for healthcare services is continuing to rise steadily across the world, and England, with a growing burden of chronic disease, an ageing population and a common determination to be able to continue to deploy the most effective technologies and drugs, is not immune to that pressure.

All members of the Board have been encouraged and reassured by the wide support that the Five Year Forward View has attracted, and by the energy and enthusiasm we are now seeing in local development of new care models. We are confident that innovative transformation of services around the interests of patients is now underway and will bring benefit to millions of patients, but that its future success locally and its wider replication across England call for national leadership that is both committed and consistent. The history of NHS reform is mixed at best. All the evidence shows that top down prescription, structural change and short-term shifts and fixes are the wrong approach. Local partners need the space, the support and the time to bring about lasting changes.

At the same time we need to ensure that patients enjoy continuity of care to the highest standards, and that we lead the transformation of service in areas where we currently fall short as a nation, such as cancer, mental ill health, diabetes and learning disabilities.

This plan takes us from vision to commitment. It describes what NHS England is setting out to achieve in 2015/16 and our measurable commitments under each heading. Its purpose is to tell the world what we propose to do, how and why, and how our achievements may be assessed. Hence, it also acts as an instrument of assurance to Government in relation to the mandate they have set for us and other actions we agree with them. It sets out for our own staff the action plan for their work for the year. And it is an instrument of governance through which the executive account to the Board of NHS England.

There is a clear vision for the continual improvement of the NHS in England for the coming year, and for the years beyond, and the long overdue transformation of the mode of delivery. The work requires a strong coalition of willing partners both nationally and locally - a social movement - who are in it for the long-term, and
determined to drive real value for money and greater efficiency for all involved in the NHS.