British Medical Journal | 2019

David Oliver: Money, efficiency, and the NHS plan



When the government committed to giving the NHS a 70th birthday present of an extra £20.5bn (€23bn; $26.3bn) a year by 2023-24, it asked in return for a plan showing what the money would be spent on over the next decade.1 The publication of the NHS’s long term plan earlier this month fulfilled that commitment,2 and the government officially expects the NHS to deliver on that plan.\n\nWe should be cautious of government and media claims about this “historic funding boost.”3 In reality—as the NHS plan acknowledges—the funding increase (to an average 3.4% a year)4 is merely a return to something near the 3.7% real terms annual increase that was the norm in the years leading up to the 2012 spending review—after which it fell to around 2.2%, leaving services struggling.\n\nOf course, the headline amount is higher …

Volume 364
Pages None
DOI 10.1136/bmj.l199
Language English
Journal British Medical Journal

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