Intended for healthcare professionals


Queen’s speech “lacks detail” on safe staffing, public health, social care reform, and covid inquiry

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 12 May 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1218
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

The UK government is facing criticism over gaps in commitments made in the Queen’s speech to improve public health, which included pledges to boost NHS funding, tackle obesity, and “lead the world” in life sciences.

The legislative programme announced on 11 May drew broad support for some health measures but also alarm over what was omitted or only thinly sketched out.1

Leading analysts and professional bodies were dismayed to hear no detailed spending sums to guarantee safe staffing, no new investment programme in public health, no long promised blueprint for social care reform, and no set date for a public inquiry into the handling of covid-19.

Doctors’ leaders and NHS trusts immediately called for sustained funding rises for the NHS and staff, on top of spending detailed in previous settlements, to enable full recovery from the pandemic.

Natasha Curry, deputy director of policy at the Nuffield Trust, echoed a widely …

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