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NHS Trusts and the Third Sector welcome new mandate for the NHS


The Foundation Trust Network (FTN) and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) have welcomed the new NHS mandate, published today (13 Nov), and announced a new work programme to assess how NHS Trusts and third sector organisations can jointly contribute to delivering the new mandate.

Chris Hopson, Chief Executive of the FTN said today: “The mandate brings a welcome clarity to the NHS’s strategic priorities to 2015. It’s good to finally see a patient focussed rationale for the reforms introduced in the Health and Social Care Act. NHS Trusts have a major role to play in delivering the mandate and our partnership with the voluntary sector is at its strongest in many of its key priority areas – for example, dementia, managing long term conditions, integrated care for the elderly and reducing mortality rates from the killer diseases. 

“We’re therefore delighted to be working with ACEVO to see how we can develop that partnership even further to deliver the new mandate. We also particularly welcome the fact that the Department has listened to feedback and turned the document from an overly prescriptive tome into a short and clear set of strategic priorities.” 

Sir Stephen Bubb, Chief Executive of ACEVO, said today: “Third sector organisations and NHS trusts already do a great deal in partnership - but there is huge untapped potential for them to achieve more together. The UK has one of the most vibrant third sectors in the world, and one of the best health systems. Getting the two working better together could be key to the NHS's success in responding to the Secretary of State's mandate". 

The work programme the two organisations have announced today will:

  • Showcase existing best practice that has been developed by NHS trusts and voluntary organisations working together in the mandate’s priority areas;
  • Assess how this partnership can develop further to deliver  the improvements the mandate requires;
  • Identify up to 20 concrete actions that either NHS trusts or voluntary organisations, or both in partnership, can undertake to drive the required improvements;
  • Identify what is needed from the rest of the NHS to deliver these actions.

The two organisations aim to publish a joint report in Spring 2013. 



  • The FTN is The Foundation Trust Network (FTN) is the membership organisation and trade association of NHS acute hospitals and community, mental health and ambulance services. The FTN supports those NHS Trusts in delivering high quality, patient focussed, care by enabling them to learn from each other, acting as their public voice and helping shape the system in which they operate. The FTN has over 210 members – more than 90% of all NHS Trusts – who collectively account for £70 billion of annual expenditure and employ more than 630,000 staff. 
  • ACEVO is the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations. ACEVO support, connec, develop and represent the third sector's leaders which include Chief Executives, Chairs, Trustees, Directors and Senior Managers. ACEVO has nearly 2,000 members. It has been providing support and advice to our members for 25 years.
  • The NHS mandate was published by the Department of Health today. It sets out the strategic priorities for the NHS to 2015. 
  • Case study example of NHS trust/voluntary sector partnership: The Sir William Rous Unit is a unique partnership between Kingston Hospital, the Royal Marsden and Macmillan Cancer Support. The unit, based at Kingston Hospital, brings the specialist cancer expertise of The Royal Marsden and Macmillan Cancer Support to Kingston Hospital. The unit provides a range of diagnostic and outpatient services close to patients’ homes including: 
  1. Joint outpatient and diagnostic clinics where patients with suspected cancer can rapidly have tests and results managed by Royal Marsden consultants working alongside their Kingston counterparts.
  2. Outpatient chemotherapy treatment for local patients managed by specialist staff from The Royal Marsden for breast, gastrointestinal, lung and urological cancers.
  3. Advice and clinical support for Kingston Hospital inpatients with a new diagnosis of cancer from visiting Royal Marsden oncologists.
  4. The opportunity for patients to take part in oncology trials closer to home, supported by the National Cancer Research Network, The Royal Marsden Hospital and Kingston Hospital.
  5. A patient information and support service managed by Macmillan Cancer Support.
  6. Access to support services such as counselling and complementary therapies managed by Kingston Hospital.


Read the FTN’s briefing on the mandate

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