The Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Health Foundation estimate that the NHS needs an additional 4% funding, per year, over the next 15 years (as opposed to the currently projected 2%). These estimates are timed in anticipation of the NHS’s 70th Birthday on July 5th 2018.
It is all about having a public debate about the choices, the health economists allege. Their analysis suggests that UK spending on healthcare would need to rise by 3.3% per year just to maintain NHS provision at current levels, but that the 4% rate would allow services to be improved. Social care funding may need to increase by 3.9% per year to meet levels of demand.
“The population is getting bigger and older, and expectations are rising along with the costs of meeting them… ”.
Triggle, N. (2018). Tax rises needed ‘to prevent NHS misery’. London: BBC Health News, April 24th 2018.
This relates to:
Kelly, E. Stoye, G. [and] Lee, T. [et al] (2018). Securing the future: funding health and social care to the 2030s. Report (R143). London: Health Foundation and Institute for Fiscal Studies, May 24th 2018. ISBN: 978-1-911102-99-1
There is also an Executive Summary.
An alternative, semi-surreal take on birthday parties and presents:
Patterson, J. (2018). If the government did birthdays… London [Online]: NHSNetworks, May 24th 2018.
Room For Greater Efficiency, Still?
Sometimes it seems not enough is mentioned about improving NHS efficiency / operational productivity instead of raising taxes. Jeremy Hunt conceded in a recent Robert Peston TV interview on a proposed ten-year NHS funding plan:
“ … [people] want to know that every pound of that money is being spent wisely”.
What sort of things can go wrong, when the NHS is perceived by suppliers, contractors or managers to enjoy effectively limitless taxpayers’ funds? An indicative example (picked almost at random):
“ …the NHS paid various pharmacies £2,645 for basic sleeping pills that can cost £1 and £3,200 for arthritis painkillers that have been charged at less than £1 per pack”.
Boots owner denies overcharging NHS for cancer mouthwash. London: BBC Health News, May 26th 2018.
Earlier Contributions to the NHS Funding Debate
A report, by Lord Darzi, Lord Prior and Norman Lamb with the Institute for Public Policy Research, estimates that the NHS in England will need £50 billion extra by 2030, and a further £10 billion will be required for social care.
Triggle, N. (2018). NHS needs ‘£50bn extra by 2030’. London: BBC Health News, April 26th 2018.
Further BBC News commentary:
Pym, H. (2018). The NHS needs more money – but how much?. London: BBC Health News, April 26th 2018.
This relates to:
The Lord Darzi Review of Health and Care: interim report. London: Institute for Public Policy Research, April 2018.
Further political analysis:
Kuenssberg, L. (2018). A cross-party solution to NHS pressures? London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, April 24th 2018.
Further Analysis Regarding the Rising Costs of Medicines
Ewbank, L. Omojomolo, D. [and] Sullivan, K. [et al] (2018). The rising cost of medicines to the NHS: what’s the story? London: King’s Fund, April 2018.
Ad Hoc Hospital Bailouts Insufficient?
Even after extra financial support (“bailouts”) from the government, NHS trusts in England had a combined financial deficit of £960 million in the last financial year; around double the £496 million planned.
Deficit for NHS trusts in England double the amount planned. London: BBC Health News, May 31st 2018.
An Unmanageable NHS Trusts Debt Burden?
In 2016-17 the total debt (unlikely ever to be re-paid) was £4.9 billion; incurring annual interest payments of £169 million.
Pym, H. (2018). Hospital loans from government ‘unmanageable’. London: BBC Health News, June 1st 2018.
Health Secretary’s Position
Possibly of background / biographical interest?
Triggle, N. (2018). Jeremy Hunt: The longest-serving health secretary. London: BBC Health News, June 4th 2018.
More on funding pre-announcements:
PM to give ‘significant’ cash to the NHS. London: BBC Health News, June 7th 2018.
Long-Term Funding Settlement for NHS: Letter to Theresa May
A jointly written letter to the Prime Minister on requirements for the longterm funding settlement concerning the NHS and the social care crisis:
Joint letter to the Prime Minister on NHS funding: a joint letter sent from the Nuffield Trust, The King’s Fund and The Health Foundation outlining our perspectives ahead of further announcements expected on NHS funding. London: King’s Fund / Health Foundation / Nuffield Trust, June 4th 2018.
The Eventual Announcement
Triggle, N. (2018). NHS gets £20bn ‘birthday present’. London: BBC Health News, June 17th 2018.