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Evidence and consultations

House of Commons debate on the address: building an NHS fit for the future

The King’s Speech was delivered to parliament on 7 November 2023. Ahead of debates on the address on Thursday 9 November in the House of Lords and Monday 13 November in the House of Commons, The King’s Fund has produced this written briefing on the key issues for health and social care in the new parliament.

Key points

  • We welcome the government’s bold commitment to introduce a phased smoking ban and moves to restrict selling e-cigarettes to children.

  • We also welcome the government restating its commitment to work with the NHS to deliver on the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, published in June 2023. However, the plan is weaker on retention measures, and fails to address the issues that contribute to high attrition rates across the NHS workforce.

  • The legislative agenda is light on proposals to address the biggest issues facing health and care, and do not contain the promised and long-overdue reforms to mental health legislation.