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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 1999): National Health Service - Funding

GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF THE UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES: WHAT DOES THE HISTORICAL RECORD REVEAL

J. Appleby

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol. 4 1999, p. 79-89.

A historical funding record constructed from a number of official sources appears to show noticeable differences in volume levels of government spending on the NHS between political administrations and between political parties. A comparatively crude analysis of changes in productive efficiency in the hospital and community health services sector between 1951 and 1991 suggests that there is no significant relationship between financial inputs and outputs (discharges and deaths). A possible explanation is that the NHS copes (at unknown cost) in times of financial stringency but does not respond in terms of increased output in times of financial plenty. In policy terms, these findings could be interpreted as showing that improvements in productivity can be brought about by restricting financial inputs and at the same time putting managerial pressure on the NHS to maintain or improve output levels.

PENSION RISE WILL EAT UP NHS CASH

D. Brindle

Guardian, April 19th 1999, p. 5.

Reports that NHS employers have been told they must find an extra £500 million per year to meet the rising costs of health workers' pensions. This is the latest of a growing list of calls on the extra money the government is providing for the health service, reducing what will be left to improve patient care.

(See also Health Service Journal, vol. 109. April 22nd 1999, p. 2-3)

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