Modernisation of Health and Social Care



On the eve of the 1997 General Election, Tony Blair told voters that they had ‘24 hours to save the NHS’ by voting Labour into government. This was a final rallying cry of the Labour party who told the electorate that the NHS could only be safe in the hands of a Labour government; it would be dismembered by the Conservative party who would likely sell off the profitable parts. Nigel Crisp (who went on to be the Chief Executive of the NHS from 2000 to 2006) argues that at the end of the 1990s ‘there was a real question at the time about whether the British National Health Service could survive’ (Crisp, 2011: p. 1). Widespread media reporting about the decline of the NHS, staff shortages and large waiting lists for services, meant that even those who were generally supportive of the NHS were starting to question its viability. The NHS, therefore, became an important focus for New Labour’s modernisation programme.


Local Authority Service User Social Care Joint Working Labour Government 
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Copyright information

© Helen Dickinson 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbourneAustralia

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