The NHS Confederation has brought together two independent organisations – the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Health Foundation – to conduct a comprehensive study into the funding needs of the UK’s health and care systems for the next 15 years.
The work is designed to identify the challenges faced by health and care services and to provide objective evidence of what will be needed going forward.
The NHS Confederation hopes this research will help inform political and public debate about what will be required to deliver a health and care system fit for the 21st century.
The first of two reports will be presented at the NHS Confederation’s annual conference, Confed18, in Manchester on June 13 and 14. It will summarise UK spending trends since 2002 with projections for funding requirements up until the year 2032. This will include an assessment of the scope for increased effectiveness and productivity to deliver best possible value for money.
The publication will also compare the UK’s spending on health and care to that of other comparable countries before listing potential options for methods of raising additional funding.
A second report will be published towards the end of 2018 examining how well the NHS is performing relative to its principle of ‘providing a comprehensive service, which meets the needs of all’.
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said: “As just about everyone recognises the pressures on the health and care system are becoming intolerable.
“Now is the time to have an objective assessment of what we need over the next 10 to 15 years to stimulate debate about what we as a society are willing to pay for and what we can expect from our health and care system.
“We see this important, independent assessment as a first step towards achieving a more rounded and considered debate about the long-term future of these vital services.”
‘Boom and bust’
Anita Charlesworth, director of research and economics at the Health Foundation, said: “The Health Foundation’s contribution to this important work will include projections of the funding and workforce pressures facing the NHS over the next 15 years.
“The health and care system in the UK has too often been subject to boom and bust planning and short-term decisions. It is time for a longer-term approach to planning, and this requires accurate research and analysis of the pressures the NHS will face in the future.”
Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: "With pressures on the NHS mounting, the public faces tough choices about the type and quality of health services that it wants in the future.
“Informing the choices over levels of funding, future requirements and ways of raising that funding is crucial. We are delighted to be working with the Health Foundation to help provide some of the necessary analysis."