Polly Vizard, Polina Obolenskaya, Jarrod Hughes, Kritty Treebhoohun and Iona Wainwright
Published 28 April 2023
This research report examines developments in the progress that was made in promoting good physical and mental health and longevity, and reducing mortality and morbidity inequalities, over the five-year period between May 2015 and early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The report has been written as an input into the broader Social Policies and Distributional Outcomes in a Changing Britain research programme (SPDO), which provides a comprehensive and in-depth examination of developments in policies, public expenditure and outcomes across ten major social policy areas between May 2015 and the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. In assessing the health record of the three Conservative Governments that were in power over this period between May 2015 and early 2020, we adopt the same comprehensive and systematic approach to social policy analysis that has been used to assess other social policy areas as part of the Social Policies and Distributional Outcomes (SPDO) research programme and in previous similar assessments of the social policy records of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition and Labour Governments going back to 1997 (covering inheritance, goals, polices, expenditure, inputs/outputs and outcomes). Like the other papers in SPDO research programme, the analysis of health developments in this report stops in early 2020 - the eve of the COVID pandemic. However, in building up detailed evidence on developments in health during in the five-year period running up to the public health crisis, the key findings provide important insights into the overall state of health when the global pandemic struck.