Closing the NHS funding gap: how to get better value health care for patients

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Monitor (Agency : Great Britain)
Date of publication
10 October 2013
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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To fulfil its constitution, the NHS must continue to provide a comprehensive, excellent service, available to all, but trends in funding and demand will create a sizeable funding gap. Recent projections from the Nuffield Trust and NHS England suggest this gap could grow to £30 billion a year by 2021. The gap could be smaller if the economy as a whole expands faster than expected, but commissioners and providers cannot rely on this happening. In short, the sector faces its greatest financial challenge of recent times over the next eight years or so.

To meet this challenge, health services must change fundamentally or the quality of care that patients receive will fall. Opportunities to close the funding gap include: 1) increasing the productivity of existing services; 2) increasing care in the community; 3) developing new, innovative ways of delivering care; 4) making 'one-off' reductions in capital expenditure and staffing costs; and 5) changing the way funds are allocated, which is currently based on historic demand

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