New legislation for the NHS has been announced in the latest Queen’s speech, along with plans to build on the success of the vaccination programme in a bid to boost life sciences in the UK.

This includes new legislation to ‘empower’ the NHS to embrace technology, with a new Health and Care Bill also announced – this will include measures to support the health of nation, with a particular focus on tackling obesity and improving mental health.

Also, ministers are set to oversee an increase in public funding for research and development following the passing of legislation to create an advanced research agency.

In response to the Queen’s speech, the ABPI’s chief executive Richard Torbett commented: "New NHS legislation will provide a once-in-a-decade opportunity to embed research at the heart of the NHS. During COVID-19, we’ve seen more patients, staff and NHS sites engage in research than ever before and we need to keep this active approach and apply it across every disease.”

He added: "Investment in research and skills must support this vision. Plans to boost R&D funding and improve education and training can support our members make the UK a life sciences superpower."

Also commenting on the Queen’s speech, NHS Confederation chief executive Danny Mortimer said: “The NHS has faced an unprecedented battle over the past year and has at times come very close to breaking point, so the announcement of additional funding will go some way to addressing the impact of the pandemic."

“However, the detail of this investment will be crucial, and we will await further clarification in the coming months and as part of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review."