Commenting on the Queen's Speech, Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of The Health Foundation, said:

‘Today's Queen’s Speech reiterated the UK Government's ambitions to level up. But with a cost-of-living crisis and a huge backlog in NHS care, much bolder action is needed to secure the nation's healthy recovery post-Covid.

‘Health Foundation research shows that at current rates, it will take 192 years to add 5 years to healthy life expectancy. Without urgent action on health risk factors and the social and economic determinants of health in the forthcoming health disparities white paper, this is unlikely to change.

‘Likewise, on social care, the reforms set out so far are a long way off "fixing social care". More funding and reform will be needed to support the growing number of people going without the care they need, raise care quality, stabilise the provider market, and improve the pay and conditions of those working in the sector. Without this, social care will continue to fail people who need it.

‘After the Health and Care Bill, it’s welcome that there is no further legislative reform proposed for the NHS – but the government still has a role to play in ensuing the health service has the resources it needs over the long-term and urgently addressing workforce shortages.’

Media contact

Ash Singleton
020 7257 8041

Further reading


Healthy life expectancy target: the scale of the challenge


Analysis exploring the scale of the target to increase healthy life expectancy by 5 years by 2035.


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