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Public health

Publication

The government published its white paper The new NHS: modern, dependable in 1997

Following its landslide election victory in May 1997, ‘new’ Labour published its white paper The new NHS: modern, dependable, which sought to replace the internal market system established

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Publication

The government published its public health green paper, Our healthier nation: a contract for health

In its green paper Our healthier nation: a contract for health, the Labour government focused on the need to narrow health inequalities and improve the health of local populations.

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Event

The chancellor announced the creation of Sure Start centres in 1998

During his 1998 comprehensive spending review speech, the chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, announced £540 million funding for the development of Sure Start, a programme to improve supp

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Publication

The standing medical advisory committee published The path of least resistance, a report on the rise of antimicrobial resistance

While resistance to antibiotics had been regarded as a problem since the 1950s, the report noted that whole new classes of antimicrobial drugs had been developed in the 1960s and 70s.

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Publication

The Independent inquiry into inequalities in health report (the ‘Acheson report’) was published in November 1998

The Independent inquiry into inequalities in health report (Acheson report) was published in 1998.

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Organisation

Primary Care Groups were established in 1999

In 1997, the government stated in its white paper The new NHS: modern, dependable that it would abolish GP fundholding (a model which was established in 1990 enabling GPs to purchase local services) a

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Organisation
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence was established on 1 April 1999

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence was established on 1 April 1999

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Publication

White paper Saving lives: our healthier nation was published

Saving lives: our healthier nation set out the government’s action plan to tackle poor health.

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Organisation

The Health Development Agency (HDA) was established on 1 April 2000

In Saving lives: our healthier nation the government announced that it would create a new statutory organisation to improve standards in public health.

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Event

The first wave of primary care trusts became operational

The first 23 primary care trusts (PCTs) became operational from 1 April 2000.

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Publication

A national review and analysis of health improvement programmes 1999-2000 was published by the NHS Development Agency

The NHS Development Agency published an evaluation into the government’s health improvement programme (HIP), which included an analysis of the issues relating to the public health elements.

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Publication

The NHS Plan was published in July 2000

The NHS Plan was published in July 2000. It outlined significant changes to how healthcare in England was to be organised, with the intention of modernising the service.

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Legislation

Local Government Act 2000 received royal assent

The Local Government Act 2002 established new powers for local authorities to improve the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of their area.

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Publication

The BSE inquiry report was published in October 2000

On 22 December 1997, Minister of Agriculture Jack Cunningham announced that an inquiry would be undertaken to review the emergence of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy – a fatal neurological

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Publication

The Health Select Committee published its report on public health

The Health Select Committee published its report on public health in March 2001.

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Publication

The white paper Shifting the balance of power within the NHS was published by the government

The government published Shifting the balance of power within the NHS in July 2001.  The central theme of the document was the devolution of responsibilities to frontline staff and communities.

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Publication

The Spending review 2002 public service agreement for the Department of Health was published

The Spending review 2002 public service agreement (PSA) for the Department of Health was published, containing three objectives: improving service standards; improving health and social care outcomes

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Publication

Getting ahead of the curve – a strategy for combating infectious diseases (including other aspects of health protection) was published by the Department of Health in 2002

The Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson, published Getting ahead of the curve – a strategy for combating infectious diseases, following a pledge to produce such a strategy in the government&rs

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Publication

Sir Derek Wanless’s Securing our future health review was published by the HM Treasury in April 2002

Sir Derek Wanless was appointed by HM Treasury to lead the Securing our future health review to examine the long-term trends affecting the health service.

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Legislation

The National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professionals Act 2002 received royal assent

The act renamed Health Authorities in England as strategic health authorities (SHAs) and required the secretary of state to establish SHAs for the whole of England.

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Event

The government’s ‘5-a-day’ campaign for healthy eating was launched in March 2003

The 5-a-day campaign was launched by the government to encourage people to increase their consumption of fruit and vegetables to at least five portions.

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Organisation

The Health Protection Agency was set up

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) was set up in 2003 as a special health authority and was accountable to the Secretary of State for Health.

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Event

The Securing good health for the whole population report was published in February 2004

In 2001, the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked Sir Derek Wanless to undertake a review of the long-term funding needs of the NHS.

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Publication

The NHS improvement plan: putting people at the heart of public services was published in June 2004

The NHS improvement plan set out the priorities for the NHS for the period between 2004 and 2008.

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Publication

The government published Standards for better health in July 2004

The government published Standards for better health, which set out standards for the health system to achieve (core standards) and strive towards (developmental standards).

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Event

Secretary of State for Health John Reid committed to halving the rates of MRSA infections in hospitals

Speaking to the chief nursing officer’s annual conference in Manchester, the Secretary of State for Health announced that hospitals would be expected to halve MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphyl

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Publication

The Choosing health: making healthy choices easier white paper was published in November 2004

The Choosing health: making healthy choices easier white paper was published following a public consultation which found that people mostly wanted to make their own decisions and choices when it came

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Event

The national child measurement programme (NCMP) was introduced in 2006 as part of efforts to tackle childhood obesity

Primary care trusts became responsible for collecting data on the height and weight of children in Reception (four- to five-year-olds) and Year 6 (10- to 11-year-olds) classes in state primary schools

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Publication

The Our health, our care, our say white paper was published in January 2006

The government published the white paper Our health, our care, our say, setting out a programme of reform which focused on prevention, integration, greater patient choice and supporting people with lo

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Event

Bowel screening programmes were launched in the UK

The NHS launched the Bowel cancer screening programme in 2006, with full roll-out achieved by 2009.

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Legislation

Health Act 2006 received royal assent on 19 July 2006

The Health Act 2006 made a number of legislative changes designed to improve and protect the health of the public.

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Event

The smoking ban in England came into force on 1 July 2007

Smoking in enclosed public places was banned in England from 1 July 2007.The ban was the result of a long campaign beginning with studies in the 1950s, demonstrating the link between smoking and lung

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Event

The NHS abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening programme was announced by the Department of Health in 2008

The NHS abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening programme was introduced in 2008, with a phased implementation beginning in 2009 that was completed in 2013.

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Publication

The government published its strategy Healthy weight, healthy lives: a cross government strategy for England in January 2008

The government launched its Healthy weight, healthy lives strategy with the intention of tackling rising rates of obesity.

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Event

The HPV vaccine was introduced at schools for 12- and 13-year-old girls in England

Following recommendations made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (a committee which advises UK health departments), the government introduced the HPV (human papilloma virus) vacci

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Event

The government launched Change4Life in a bid to tackle obesity in January 2009

As pledged in the Healthy weight, healthy lives: a cross government strategy for England, the government launched the Change4Life campaign to tackle rising rates of obesity. The campaign was official

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Event

The NHS health check programme was launched

The Prime Minister announced that on 7 January 2008 everyone would eventually have access to a health check-up.

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Event

The UK sees its first cases of ‘swine flu’

The H1NI swine flu virus was first detected in the UK on 27 April 2009, after first emerging in Mexico in February 2009.

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Publication

On 28 January 2010, the General Medical Council ruled that Andrew Wakefield had acted dishonestly and irresponsibly with regards to the publication of research that suggested there was a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and au

The single MMR vaccine was first introduced in 1988, providing protection against measles, mumps and rubella. Previously, there had been separate vaccinations for each disease.

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Publication

Fair society, healthy lives – the Marmot review was published in February 2010

Sir Michael Marmot was commissioned by the Labour government in November 2008 to propose cost-effective strategies to reduce health inequalities.

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