• 2000January

    The most expensive breakfast.

  • 2000July

    The NHS Plan – a 10-year modernisation programme of investment and reform.

  • 2001

    Image credit: iStockphoto #18251876.

    As directed by the Health Act 1999, the Commission for Healthcare Improvement is created – the first organisation to formally assess the performance of NHS hospitals.

  • 2001May

    Image credit: iStockphoto #17172581.

    The Health and Social Care Act 2001 formalises The NHS Plan.

  • 2001September

    This is the first time we have assessed performance on issues that patients care about.
    John Hutton, Minister of State for Health, 28 November 2001.

    Introduction of the hospital star rating system.

  • 2002

    All our efforts need to be focused on supporting front line staff to deliver these improvements and empowering them to make decisions locally.
    Lord Crisp KCB (2001)

    NHS reorganisation: District health authorities are replaced by strategic health authorities (SHAs) and primary care trusts (PCTs). The concept of foundation trusts is investigated.

  • 2002January

    The Review flags the need for a very substantial increase in resources for health and social care.
    Derek Wanless (2002)

    The Wanless Review paves the way for unprecedented increases in NHS funding.

  • 2002June

    The National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 legislates for the redistribution of power from regional health authorities into strategic health authorities (SHAs).

  • 2003June

    New contracts for GPs and hospital consultants are agreed, changing the delivery of services to patients.

  • 2003October

    The new NHS/HPSS pay system is based on the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.
    Angela Smith MP, Minister for Health (2004).

    Standardisation of pay and conditions for the majority of NHS staff as part of the Agenda for change.

  • 2003November

    NHS reorganisation: The Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003.

  • 2004April

    NHS foundation trusts are firmly part of the NHS and subject to NHS standards, performance ratings and systems of inspection.
    Department of Health (2005) A short guide to NHS Foundation Trusts.

    The first 10 foundation trusts (FTs) are established, with more control over their budgets and services.

  • 2004April

    Image credit: Public Health Image Library, #1410, CDC.

    The Healthcare Commission takes over from the Commission for Healthcare Improvement.

  • 2004October

    The Government outlines plans for involving GP practices in commissioning health care services through its ‘practice based commissioning’ policy

  • 2004November

    We are clear that Government cannot – and should not – pretend it can ‘make’ the population healthy. But it can – and should – support people in making better choices for their health.
    Prime Minister Tony Blair (2004).

    The Government’s public health White Paper, Choosing health, is published.

  • 2005July

    The Government accelerates the timetable for the introduction of practice-based commissioning through the publication of the report: Commissioning a patient-led NHS.

  • 2006

    Our intention is for PCTs to become stronger organisations with a more focused role
    Government response to the Health Committee’s report on changes to Primary Care Trusts (2006).

    NHS reorganisation: Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are reduced from 28 to 10. The number of primary care trusts (PCTs) fall from 303 to 152.

  • 2006January

    Services that are flexible, integrated and responsive to peoples’ needs and wishes.
    Patricia Hewitt, Health Secretary (2006)

    The White Paper, Our health, our care, our say, is published.

  • 2007June

    The Conservative Party outlines its vision for the future of the NHS in the White Paper: NHS autonomy and accountability: Proposals for legislation.

  • 2007July

    Healthcare for London: A framework for action, a major review into the future of London’s health services, led by clinician Professor Sir Ara Darzi, is published.

  • 2007July

    A ban on smoking in nearly all enclosed work places and public places in England is introduced.

  • 2008June

    My aim is to convince and inspire everyone working in the NHS, and in partner organisations, to embrace and lead change.
    Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham KBE (2007).

    Health Minister, Lord Darzi, leads what becomes known as the ‘NHS next stage review’ and outlines his 10-year vision for the NHS in the report, High quality care for all.

  • 2009January

    The NHS Constitution is published, outlining a revised set of rights and responsibilities for patients and staff.

  • 2009April

    The new system will enable a joined up regulation for health and social care, helping to ensure better outcomes for the people who use services.
    Department of Health (2009)

    A new health and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), is created.

  • 2009

    NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson, warns the NHS to prepare for the need to release unprecedented efficiency savings of between £15 billion and £20 billion between 2011 and 2014.