Health Foundation analysis predicts £65bn NHS funding gap

22 Jan 15
The NHS faces a funding gap of £65bn by 2030, an analysis by the Health Foundation think-tank has found.

By Richard Johnstone | 23 January 2015

The NHS faces a funding gap of £65bn by 2030, an analysis by the Health Foundation think-tank has found.

The projection found that the inflation in the health service was likely to increase by 2.9% a year over and above the rate in the economy as a whole as demand increases and the population ages.

This is higher than the expected annual increase in gross domestic product of 2.3%, and indicates that an additional £65bn is needed by 2030/31, chief economist Anita Charlesworth said.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens forecast a £30bn funding shortfall by 2020/21 in The Five Year Forward View, which set out a series of changes in a bid to improve efficiency.

Stevens said additional funding would be needed, and Chancellor George Osborne has announced that an extra £2bn will be made available from next April as a ‘down payment’ on further funding for the reform plans.
Charlesworth said the foundation’s analysis was based on productivity growth continuing in line with recent trends. If these continued, health service funding would need to grow faster than the underlying growth in the economy.

‘We are calling for the next government to establish a public and political consensus on the longer-term funding levels necessary for the NHS. The next government needs to act immediately in order to secure the future of the health service in years to come,’ she added.

Extra money was needed to establish a ‘transformation fund’ to provide the financial assistance necessary to implement the FYFV changes.

The report was published as health sector regulator Monitor said there needed to be more urgent action to join up health and social care for patients.

Speaking at a Westminster Social Policy Forum event in London, Baroness Hanham said integration was vital so people can benefit from care that is better co-ordinated and joined-up.

However, this was taking too long to be implanted in many cases, she said. Although the demarcation between health and social care was beginning to disappear, the challenges currently facing the health sector mean it must happen quicker than the current pace.

‘Integrated care has to be the future,’ Hanham stated. ‘Not only because it means that people can have more tailored and individual plans for their care, it should mean that they do not need to attend hospital for check up or treatments so frequently.

‘And it may mean that, ultimately, by joining-up resources there can be a rebalancing of expenditure between health settings and between health and social care. Change needs to happen, and we do need a sense of urgency about this.’


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