Progress made by the NHS in the past 13 years

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What did we do in this project?

Using publicly available data and policy documents, together with findings from research and relevant international comparisons, we examined what progress the NHS in England has made against specific criteria since 1997.

Based on our findings, we have recommended where the next government should focus its efforts in our report: A high-performing NHS? A review of progress 1997-2010, which was published in April 2010.

Why are we interested in this piece of work?

The Labour government was elected in 1997 with a promise to 'save the NHS'. Over the past 13 years they have more than doubled NHS funding and introduced a series of reforms in England aimed at improving the quality and timeliness of care. So is the NHS in England a better health care system in 2010 than it was in 1997? And what further changes are needed to improve its performance?

Drawing on approaches from international studies, we have developed eight broad criteria for a high-performing health system: the services must be available, safe, clinically effective, health promoting and offer patients a positive experience; and the system as a whole should be efficient, equitable and accountable.

Project team