Health secretary Jeremy Hunt today delivered an “historic” first mandate from the government to the NHS Commissioning Board and highlighted the need to embrace technology to achieve its aims.

The mandate sets out what every patient in England can expect from GPs, hospitals and the wider NHS over the next two years.

The NHS CB will be given a budget of more than £95 billion for 2013-14 in order to deliver its objectives.

These include: cutting premature deaths from the biggest killer diseases; better help for demetia sufferers; and putting clear plans in place for patients to have a single integrated electronic record covering all interactions with health and social care.

Hunt described the publication of the “very ambitious and optimistic” mandate as a “historic moment” for the NHS.

“This is the first time that we have tried to represent the operational independence of the NHS by disciplining ourselves as ministers to condense what we want the NHS to focus on in a document of only 28 pages,” Hunt explained at a press briefing.

The mandate highlights the need to use technology to improve the lives of people with long-term conditions.

Hunt said it signals that the government is “trying to put to rest the ghosts of labour’s IT projects in the NHS.”

“We can’t use that as an excuse to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to technology.”

He said it is not good enough that ambulance staff can arrive at someone’s house totally unaware that the patient suffers from dementia or other health issues which should be part of an integrated health record.

“What we want is for there to be a single digital record of people’s health care which, with their consent, can follow them throughout the system,” said Hunt.

However, he expects IT innovation in this area to be a “bottom up grass roots process” rather than implementing a national IT contract.

“This will be an incredible step forward in terms of clinical safety and improving care, but how that happens will be different in different parts of the country,” he added.

Hunt also explained that the government does not want the NHS CB to have to “micro-manage” CCGs in order to hit a target, but rather to tell them what is expected and leave it up to local innovation to achieve those aims.

“We’re removing the ability of ministers to performance manage the entire NHS from their desks at Whitehall and replacing it with independence for professionals on the front line,” he said.

The mandate says the board’s objective is to: “Get the best health outcomes for patients by strengthening the local autonomy of clinical commissioning groups, health and wellbeing boards, and local providers of services.”

It reiterates the government line that CCGs will be in “full control over where they source their commissioning support.”

It says that by 2015, the NHS CB should have led major improvements in how the NHS undertakes procurement so that it is: “more open and fair, and allows providers of all sizes and from all sectors to contribute, supporting innovation and the interests of patients.”