• NHS £30 billion funding gap

    Friday, October 24, 2014

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The national leadership of the NHS has issued an unprecedented warning to politicians that it cannot continue at current funding levels. The NHS will need additional resources worth more than 1.5% a year in real terms over the next parliament otherwise there will be annual £30 billion shortfall.

A five-year plan for the NHS, The NHS Five Year Forward View, unveiled by six national bodies (NHS England, Public Health England, the regulator Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority, Care Quality Commission and Health Education England) highlighted an annual £30bn shortfall would open up in the next Parliament.

The health service cannot make enough efficiency savings to bridge its projected £30bn funding gap by 2021 if its real terms funding remains flat over the next five years, according to a document setting out the shared view of national NHS leaders.

The Plan said changes, such as GP practices offering hospital services, would help to plug a large chunk of the gap. But health chiefs said the NHS would still need above-inflation rises of 1.5% over the coming years.

The Plan also said the future of the health service depended on it becoming more efficient. To achieve this, it called for a rethink about the way services were delivered.

It put forward a range of models – although it stressed it was up to each local area to decide which ones to adopt. Many of these measures are designed to curb the rise in hospital admissions and the impact of the ageing population – the source of most pressure in the health service.

These measures include:

Who knows what will happen with health policy post May 2015? One thing is certain, health will be one of the key issues during the general election, with all parties making policy announcements over the comings months aimed at providing a modern service while reducing the forecast deficit.

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