Think-tank researchers are calling for a halt to planned health service cuts they say will reduce spending per head of the population over the next two years.
Health Foundation analysts expect the next 10 years to be the toughest for funding growth in the NHS’s history.
Social care is highlighted as needing an urgent cash injection to ‘bridge and alarming funding gap’ of more than £2bn the charity says has resulted in 400,000 fewer people in England receiving the care they need.
A briefing document timed to coincide with the run-up to the general election sets out the parlous position of NHS trusts that it calculates have a combined deficit of £2.5bn. It says two thirds of them are in the red.
The foundation adds that, beyond 2020, funding growth for the NHS and social care system will need to rise faster, taking a larger slice of gross domestic product (GDP). This is to keep pace with the health problems of an ageing population, rising numbers of long-term condition patients and the costs associated with new technologies and medical advances.
The briefing’s authors suggest that the NHS’s funding will be around £160bn by 2031/32 at today’s prices if its present share of GDP is sustained. However, the briefing warns this might not happen as funding pressures are expected to grow at the rate of 4% a year between 2021-32, leaving the NHS requiring even more money.
- There has been a rash of documents and ‘manifestos’ coming out from health-associated organisations as the general election date nears. The common theme is that the NHS is in a bad way and money is at the root of it. This is nothing new to people in the health service and satellite industries. But will whatever government we see populate the House of Commons after 8 June take heed?