NHS Confederation responds to the IFS analysis on NHS spending rising less quickly than was planned in last election

Matthew Taylor responded to the IFS analysis on NHS spending rising less quickly than was planned in last election

14 May 2024

Responding to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) analysis which shows that NHS spending has risen less quickly than was planned at the last election, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:

“This analysis will be of no shock to health leaders who were very aware that the additional £2.5 billion of revenue funding announced in the Spring Budget was at best flat in real terms against a backdrop of significant financial deficits and immense pressure on services. But the fact that health spending has not risen as quickly as planned five years ago leaves the NHS with a mountain to climb in order to improve performance and tackle lengthy care backlogs with the threat of further industrial action looming over it as well.

“We know it will be an incredibly tough year for the NHS, with health leaders and their teams already worried about how they will meet extremely ambitious productivity and efficiency targets. We are very worried about what kind of difficult decisions may have to be made over staffing levels and service closures due to squeezed funding. We also know that unrealistically tight revenue settlements are often followed-up by emergency top-up funding, which is not the way to plan for the future or boost productivity.

“Vital productivity gains will only be realised if the NHS’s crumbling estates are addressed too. While we welcome the £3.4 billion pledged for NHS digitisation, this is far below the extra £6.4 billion a year in capital funding we have called for to start to address the repairs backlog, update old equipment and invest in the latest technology.”