The Government is planning to take more control of the NHS in the biggest health reform the UK has seen in a decade**, according to a report.**
Around 30 pieces of legislation promised in the speech include:
A Health and Care Bill to better integrate the NHS and social care systems.
A Planning Bill to make it easier to build new homes, schools and hospitals.
New laws to scrap the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, meaning it will be easier for Mr Johnson to call an early general election before 2024.
A Counter-State Threats Bill to introduce a US-style register of foreign agents to help counter espionage and influence from hostile governments.
The return of the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which saw demonstrations over concerns that it would curtail the right to protest when it was last before Parliament.
A Higher Education (Free Speech) Bill giving regulators the power to fine universities or students’ unions in England if they fail to protect freedom of expression
Here, we take a deeper look into the key pieces of legislation announced.
Ban on junk food
The Queen’s Speech included plans to tackle the nation’s obesity crisis. Junk food adverts are set to be banned completely online and on TV before the 9pm watershed, while promotions on high fat, salt and sugar food and drinks will be restricted in retailers from April 2022, A new incentive scheme called Fit Miles will look at paying people to eat better and exercise more, while there will be more support for GPs to help people lose weight.
The Government will bring in legislation requiring large businesses with 250 or more employees to put labels on the food they sell with calorie totals. NHS ‘catch-up and recovery plan’ Boris Johnson put repairing the NHS following the Covid pandemic at the heart of the next programme for government.
The Queen’s Speech included an NHS ‘catch-up and recovery plan’ detailing the ‘unprecedented challenge’ now facing the health service, which includes 4.7 million people in England waiting for care and more than 380,000 waiting more than a year for treatment.
As well as a commitment to clearing the backlog, the Government has pledged to ‘account for the returning demand of those people who have not come forward for care during the pandemic’.