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Leading think-tanks join forces to urge Government to increase NHS spending


By Carolyn Wickware
6 June 2017

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Three leading health think-tanks have written a letter to The Times today, urging political leaders to strengthen NHS funding.

The letter from the Health Foundation, the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust says public spending on healthcare ‘accounts for just over 7%’ of GDP, which it says ‘is not enough to cope with the ageing population and other cost pressures’.

Three leading health think-tanks have written a letter to The Times today, urging political leaders to strengthen NHS funding.

The letter from the Health Foundation, the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust says public spending on healthcare ‘accounts for just over 7%’ of GDP, which it says ‘is not enough to cope with the ageing population and other cost pressures’.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has said that a funding increase of around £30bn a year is needed in five years’ time to enable the NHS to deal with these pressures.

The letter says that their analyses found that none of the major political parties have pledged enough in their manifestos ‘to cover even half of that’.

It says: ‘The next Government must act quickly to strengthen the health service’s finances in the short term, as well as developing a sustainable, long-term approach to funding the NHS, to put an end to the current cycle of feast and famine.’

The think-tanks urge the NHS to focus on improving efficiency and ‘use additional funding to reform care to meet changing population needs’.

It adds: ‘Failure to provide sufficient funding and improve efficiency will result in longer waiting times for patients, poorer access to cost effective drugs and treatments, and a decline in NHS and social care.’

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