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May 1997

New Labour and the internal market in the NHS

The new Secretary of State for Health, Frank Dobson, confirmed the Labour party's manifesto commitment to abolish the internal market.

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.


Political devolution of the UK's health services

The passage of three Acts of Parliament established devolved legislatures in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

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.

April 1998

GP commissioning pilots

The Department of Health commissioned an evaluation of 40 GP commissioning pilots to test new approaches to primary care-led commissioning.

11 June 1998

Community Care (Residential Accommodation) Act 1998

The Act restricted the amount of capital assets that local authorities could take into account to determine eligibility for residential accommodation charges.

1 July 1998

'A first class service - quality in the NHS' consultation document

The government set out, and invited comments on, their plans for re-organisation of the NHS to tackle quality variation.

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.