Dr Dan Poulter, health minister and MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Suffolk: Health minister Dr Dan Poulter hails new NHS contract as landmark moment

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
10.00 AM

A HEALTH minister and Suffolk MP has welcomed a new contract between the NHS and government which will be announced by the Department of Health today.

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, told the EADT, the announcement marks a “landmark moment” in the history of the health service.

He said the contract aims to “ensure our proudest creation, of a national health service, free for all at the moment of need, continues to be our finest”.

“Today, we are marking a landmark moment by publishing the NHS Mandate – the first ever contract between the government and the health service,” he said.

“This agreement underlines the responsibility of the government, and of me, as a health minister, to preserve and defend the principles at the heart of the NHS.

“The most important of these is that the NHS remains free to everyone – whether here in Suffolk or anywhere else in England.

“The NHS mandate also reflects a second responsibility – to ensure that in a rapidly changing world, our NHS stays relevant to people like us here in Suffolk.

“Even though the Government is investing an additional £12.5 billion into our NHS, the challenge of caring for an ageing population, rising costs of treatments, and a huge increase in the number of us with long term medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and dementia mean that the NHS is facing a profound shift in our healthcare needs and expectations, all at a time of acute pressure on public finances.

“Where it exists, we must expose and prevent poor care, we must inspire the whole NHS to aim higher, and give everyone more confidence in the services they use.

“In particular, we must continue to provide greater dignity in the care of older people, and at the same time, through greater support for mothers, families and babies, give each and every child the very best start in life.

“Last century, the NHS set itself the highest ideals of compassion and dignity, carried by a commitment to the very best standards of treatment and support.

“The mandate we are launching today will honour that promise for the 21st century – and ensure our proudest creation, of a national health service, free for all at the moment of need, continues to be our finest.”