Important UK reviews: a timeline

18 Nov

The UK government has often commissioned independent reviews in response to a scandal or just to guide policy makers. Some of these have stood out over time as turning points in the history of public health in the UK, so I’ve compiled a select few in chronological order. I’d like to be able to summarise/analyse and contextualise them at some point, as  I’ve noticed there aren’t any similar resources on the web aside from journal commentaries which only provide part of the picture. This is maybe a bit too ambitious though….!

1980: The Black Report (Inequalities in Health) link

In a nutshell: Commissioned by Labour and delayed and boycotted by Conservatives. Showed that health inequalities in Britain were increasing despite overall improvements.

1998: Acheson Report (Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health Report) link

In a nutshell: Again demonstrated health disparities along a socio-economic gradient.

2001: Bristol Enquiry (The report of the public inquiry into children’s heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary 1984-1995: learning from Bristol) link

In a nutshell: A seminal report which revealed the importance of patient safety

2006: The Cooksey Review  (A review of UK health research funding) link

In a nutshell: Realisation of the need for a better coordinated research scene in the UK, as well as the need for better translation into policy/action.

2008: Marmot Review (Fair Society, Healthy Lives) link

In a nutshell: Reiterated the importance of socio-economic factors as determinants of health and emphasised the need to tackle health inequalities

2010: The White Paper (Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our strategy for Public Health in England) link

In a nutshell: Acknowledged the importance of public health and set out the beginnings of the Health and Social Care bill

2010: Francis Report (The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Enquiry) link

In a nutshell: Pointed out the current issues in the NHS of responsibility, accountability, institutionalised culture and system wide failure.


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