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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

IPPR says Labour is right to adopt new health mission, but investment will be key

The influential IPPR think tank has backed core aspects of Labour’s newly announced health mission, which includes key pillars from the institute’s Commission on Health and Prosperity. However, it points out that delivering on this ambitious mission will require significant investment alongside the important reforms proposed today. 

Chris Thomas, Head of IPPR’s Commission on Health and Prosperity, said: 

“The NHS was created at a time when conditions like tuberculosis remained among the biggest killers. But today’s challenges are different. A shift to more preventative care – and more care in the community – is long overdue. 

“Labour is right in its ambition to create a 21st century plan for a 21st century NHS. But there also needs to be a plan for investment alongside these bold reforms to help make such an aspirational target believable. Investing in the things that drive healthier lives, like good housing, a healthy diet and lower smoking rates will be critical for delivering healthier people and a healthier economy.” 

Labour has adopted several of the IPPR commission’s recommendations, including: 

  • The introduction of a long-term healthy life expectancy target 
  • Setting a target for reducing regional health inequalities  
  • The creation of an independent body, modelled on the Climate Change Committee (CCC), to hold government to account on its mission delivery and coordinate action between Whitehall departments 
  • The plan to pool hospital waiting lists by region, to increase options and flexibility 
  • Creating a ‘Neighbourhood Health Service’ to deliver primary care services 
  • Introducing ethical commissioning in social care to clamp down on bad providers 


Chris Thomas is available for interview, including on site following the end of Labour’s speech on Monday. 

Also available for interview are: 

  • Harry Quilter-Pinner, director of research and engagement at IPPR 
  • Dr Parth Patel, senior research fellow at IPPR 


David Wastell, Director of News and Communications: 07921 403651 [email protected]  

Liam Evans, Senior Digital and Media Officer: 07419 365334 [email protected]  


  1. IPPR’s Commission on Health and Prosperity is a landmark, cross-party and independent initiative. It will make its final report early next year. 
  2. Last month, IPPR released the commission’s first interim report ( This showed the damage the UK’s poor record on population health is doing to the economy. It called for a Health and Prosperity Act, modelled on the Climate Change Act 2008, to: 
    a)  set a bold, long-term mission to improve healthy life expectancy and tackle regional inequality 
    b) create a mission delivery institution modelled on the Climate Change Committee (CCC); 
    c) create an evidence revolution through a new ‘what works’ centre for health; and  
    d) drive investment in health through a health creation fund and health investment bank  
  3. The commission has also published proposed solutions to NHS challenges such as the long elective waiting list – and will publish a 10-year future vision for health and care services in the summer.  
  4. IPPR is the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank. With more than 40 staff in offices in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.