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

'The Prime Minister has promised to "fix the crisis in social care once and for all" and the Queen's Speech reiterated that the government would seek cross-party consensus on proposals. With growing numbers of people unable to access the care they need, there is no time to waste. Fundamental reform of social care should be the immediate priority – the government must now grasp the nettle.

'The commitment to extra funding for the NHS reconfirmed in the Queen's speech is welcome but still falls short of what's needed to maintain the existing quality of services, let alone modernise and improve care.

'It is positive the government has committed to securing more nurses and GPs and using a new NHS visa scheme to reduce barriers to recruiting NHS staff from abroad. But recruiting GPs and nurses will not be easy and in the meantime patient care is at risk from the acute and growing workforce shortage. We need to ensure that training budgets receive continued upward investment and staff have incentives to work in the areas of greatest need.

'The government has said that prevention of ill health is a top priority. To deliver on this, it must look beyond the NHS. Less visible areas of public spending that help keep people healthy, such as children's and welfare services, housing, and the public health grant, urgently need investment. If the UK is to flourish, investing in the health stock of the nation is non-negotiable.'

Media contact

Diana Mackie
020 7257 8039

Further reading

Long read

What should be done to fix the crisis in social care?

About 15 mins to read

Five messages for government about priorities and options for social care reform in England.


General Election 2019

Our views and analysis on health and social care from the 2019 General Election.

Long read

Health and social care funding

About 10 mins to read

We explore the level of funding that the next government will need to commit to in order to maintain...

Long read

Health and social care workforce

About 10 mins to read

We explore the health and social care workforce, how shortages are impacting on services and set out...

You might also like...

Press release

Under today’s immigration proposals, social care will still be left high and dry

Health Foundation response to further details of plan for a points-based immigration system.

Press release

The NHS will not be able to restart all of its services at once and difficult decisions will have to be made

Health Foundation response to NHS England's monthly performance statistics.

Press release

Bolder action needed on levelling up agenda

Health Foundation response to the Chancellor's measures to support the UK's recovery from the...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

We're looking for a supplier to support the design, development and delivery of a UK-wide #NHSanchors Learning Netw…

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more