NHS buckling under mismatch of demand and funding, says report




The NHS in England is buckling under a mismatch between soaring demand for care and levels of funding, a thinktank has warned. The King’s Fund said the number of admissions to hospital were rising steeply and were outstripping increases in the health service budget.

Hospital admissions have increased 3.6% a year since 2003-4. A&E attendances, referrals to outpatient services and diagnostic tests have also increased, it added. But since 2010, this increased activity has coincided with a prolonged funding squeeze, a the King’s Fund report states.

Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, funding increases “slowed significantly”, averaging 1.2% each year, compared with average increases of 4.8% a year between 2003-04 and 2010-11, the authors said. As a result of this mismatch between funding and activity, plans for the health service in the coming years could be in jeopardy, the report warns.

The NHS Five Year Forward View sets out a plan for meeting the projected gap between funding and demand – but the authors said: “Failure to moderate the rise in demand for hospital care … highlights the challenges in delivering the Forward View.”

Full article see The Guardian 20 December 2016