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30-year wait for next record NHS funding hike


Does NHS need a longer-term plan?

Record levels of funding enjoyed by the NHS in 2009 may not return until 2049, according to a leading health economist.

John Appleby of the Nuffield Trust think tank appeared before the House of LordsNHS sustainability committeeafter analysing several projected health and social care funding models. He reported that:

  • 2009/10 had been the peak year for spending on the NHS in the UK, when it was around 7.8% of GDP
  • theOffice for Budget Responsibilitypredicts that by 2019/20 spending will have been reduced to 6.2% 'we are in a slump,' Appleby said
  • the OBR predicts that it will take until 2049 for the UK to reach the peak it was at in 2009 Appleby told peers 'that's a long time to get back to where the system was'

Katherine Checkland, professor of health policy and primary care atUniversity of Manchester, also gave evidence and said that some of the talk about savings in the NHS is not realistic:

'For example, it isn't necessarily cheaper to care for people in the community nor necessarily cheaper to look after people properly out of hospital. There are a lot of assumptions which are probably not true.'

Further information

British Medical JournalNHS is unlikely to return to high levels of funding until 2049

Wellards: NHS finance

Wellards: 30-year wait for next record NHS funding hike

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