A report from NHS England has warned of a further £30bn gap by 2020-21 between NHS funding versus costs and demands, in addition to the estimated £20bn of savings the health service is required to achieve by 2014/15.
An open and honest debate is required about the future of the NHS if it is going to be able to meet the “triple pincer” from the challenges of rising demand (due to demographic changes towards an older population more likely to suffer from multiple long-term conditions), the introduction of new technology / sophisticated treatments and the rising expectations of patients.
Sir David Nicholson speaks of the need for urgent decisions about reorganising hospital and GP care to avoid a growing funding gap. One way to minimise the gap between the budget and rising costs might be to concentrate some services in fewer hospitals.
Read more: BBC News. NHS ‘heading for £30bn funding gap’.
Jeffreys, J. (2013). NHS ‘heading for £30bn funding gap’. London: BBC Health News, July 11th 2013.
This relates to:
The NHS belongs to the people: a call to action. London: NHS England, July 11th 2013.
An Earlier, Not Unrelated, Commentary From Across the Pond
Black, N. (2013). Can England’s NHS survive? New England Journal of Medicine, July 4th 2013, 369(1), 1-3.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 9, August 2013].