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May 1997

The first Minister of Public Health

Having promised a new drive to improve public health in their manifesto, the Labour Party appointed the first Minister of Public Health.

8 December 1997

'The new NHS: modern, dependable' white paper

The new Labour government set out its intentions for NHS reform and announced programmes to improve public health.

February 1998

Public health green paper: 'Our healthier nation: a contract for health'

The government focused on the need to narrow health inequalities and improve the health of local populations.

July 1998

Sure Start programme

During his comprehensive spending review speech, Gordon Brown announced a programme to improve support for children in the early stages of their life.

September 1998

Government-commissioned report on the rise of antimicrobial resistance

'The path of least resistance' set out a number of recommendations to address rising antimicrobial resistance.

26 November 1998

Acheson report on inequalities in health

The report of the Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health (chaired by Sir Donald Acheson) made recommendations on health, environmental and social factors.

December 1998

Public service agreements (PSAs)

As part of the comprehensive spending review, the government set new targets to reduce NHS waiting lists and reduce health inequalities.

1 April 1999

Primary Care Groups

Following commitments to abolish GP fundholding in 'The new NHS' white paper, PCGs replaced family health authorities (previously responsible for commissioning primary care).

1 April 1999

National Institute for Clinical Excellence

NICE aimed to reduce variation of the availability and quality of NHS services: later changing its name to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and extending into public health.