NHS budget rises slightly but money “will have to stretch further than ever”

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 21 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5952
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Spending on the NHS will rise by 0.4% in real terms over the next four years to reach a total of £114bn a year in 2014 (up from £104bn in 2010/11), chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has announced in the first comprehensive spending review of the coalition government.

This is a fraction of the 6% annual increase in real terms spending that the NHS has enjoyed over the past decade and shows that the share of the gross domestic product allocated to the NHS will fall over the coming years.

Mr Osborne referred to the NHS as an “intrinsic part of the fabric of our country” and prioritised the health service for increased funds made available by savings in the welfare budget worth £7bn a year.

However, he said, “productivity in the NHS fell steadily in the past 10 years and that must not continue.”

John Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund, said that the increase of 0.1% a year in the NHS budget would soon be …

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