Intended for healthcare professionals


The general election, the NHS, and social care

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 12 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2840
  1. Chris Ham, chief executive
  1. King’s Fund, London, UK
  1. c.ham{at}

A less damaging deal on Brexit and more funding may result

The outcome of the general election will mean more of the same for the NHS and social care in the short term and huge uncertainty on two fronts in the medium term. The Conservative government has failed to obtain the mandate it was seeking and now hopes to rely on the support of Democratic Unionist MPs to implement its programme. The weakness of the minority government will strengthen the hand of NHS England in implementing the Five Year Forward View1 and continuing its work to achieve financial stability and improvements in performance.

Changes in legislation to support delivery of the forward view, foreshadowed in the Conservative Party manifesto, now seem unlikely, if only because they would act as a lightning rod for opposition parties seeking to attack the government’s stewardship of the NHS. In the absence of legislation, NHS England will continue to promote evolutionary changes to the organisation of …

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