A health bill is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the next 18 months, according to a draft of tomorrow’s Queen’s speech.

A leaked draft of the speech setting out the coalition government’s first legislative programme said health legislation would be introduced after the summer recess.

It is one of at least 21 bills the government wants to introduce in the next 18 months. The coalition government set out detailed plans for health and the NHS on Thursday.

HSJ understands health secretary Andrew Lansley arrived at the Department of Health with a draft white paper and asked civil servants to begin drafting legislation.