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RCOG statement on the NHS Mandate

News 13 November 2013

The Department of Health has published its NHS Mandate, a mandate from the Government to the NHS Commissioning Board: April 2013 to March 2015.

The mandate is structured around 5 main areas where the government expects NHS England to make improvements:

  • preventing people from dying prematurely
  • enhancing quality of life for people with long-term conditions
  • helping people to recover from episodes of ill health or following injury
  • ensuring that people have a positive experience of care
  • treating and caring for people in a safe environment and protecting them from avoidable harm

Dr David Richmond, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said:

“We welcome the publication of the NHS mandate. It aims to reduce deaths in babies and young children as despite the perinatal mortality rate improving over the last 10 years, the number of stillbirths is still too high. We need more research into the causes of stillbirth and an emphasis on supporting affected families.

“The mandate also pledges to ensure that every woman has a named midwife providing one-to-one care and including extra support for women with a maternal health concern. This will help ensure a better birth experience for all mothers by supporting her before and after the birth and as she makes the transition into motherhood. The RCOG advocates the importance of the life-course approach for women, which promotes prevention rather than intervention and encourages a healthy lifestyle putting the individual at the centre of their care throughout their life.

“We are also seeing more complex pregnancies where extra support is needed and closer monitoring.

“The mandate will help to ensure that women’s experience of maternity services is improved which is vital at a time when services are under pressure.”


For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email