In recent years, NHS spending has been protected while other budgets such as welfare, local government and the police have been subject to significant cuts. Despite this, health services are facing unprecedented financial and operational pressures. In 2015/16, NHS providers ended the year with a record deficit of £2.45 billion, while performance against waiting times and other key indicators has deteriorated.
So why is the NHS struggling to maintain standards of care despite funding having increased? A key reason for this is that demand for services is rising. Here we explore demand for hospital services by looking at the data for different aspects of activity over the past 13 years.
Full report at The King’s Fund 20 December 2016