Changing population means NHS faces real-terms funding cut this decade

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) reveals that real-terms DH spending will increase by 12% over the period from 2009/10 to 2019/20 under current government plans.

This equates to a 1.1% increase per year – outstripping the 0.8% per year rate of population growth over the same period, meaning that real-terms per capita spending will have risen 3.5% over the decade.

However, once changes to the ‘age structure of the population’ are taken into account, the IFS warns that current spending plans will in fact deliver a 1.3% drop in per capita spending.

The institute points out that the number of 85-year-olds in England is predicted to rise 16.1% over the decade to 2019/20, as part of an overall ageing population trend alongside rising overall population.

Significantly higher healthcare costs for older people – the IFS points out that public health spending in 2015 on the average 85-year-old was five times higher than for the average 30-year-old – mean that spending would have needed to increase 13.5% in real terms over the decade to keep pace with ageing and population growth.

IFS analysts also suggest that NHS costs could rise 1.6% a year between 2013/14 and 2020/21 because of rising prevalence of long-term conditions and improvements in medical technology.

Full Article on GP Online 8 May 2017