Intended for healthcare professionals

Head To Head

Can the NHS cut costs without substantially damaging the quality of health care? No

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 14 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1959
  1. John Appleby, chief economist
  1. 1King’s Fund, London W1G 0AN
  1. j.appleby{at}

    Rebecca Rosen (doi: 10.1136/bmj.c1967) and Paul Corrigan (doi: 10.1136/bmj.c1999) think that the NHS cost cutting that will occur over the next few years does not inevitably mean that the quality of care it provides will suffer. John Appleby and James Owen Drife (doi: 10.1136/bmj.c1966) are not so sure

    It would not be credible to argue that, in a multibillion pound business, opportunities to improve efficiency do not exist, or that any reduction in the costs of production will inevitably lead to corners being cut and quality of care suffering. But the productivity challenge for the NHS is daunting.

    Belt tightening starts this year for the English NHS with a real rise in funding of just 1.6%.1 This will be the smallest increase for 14 years and around a quarter of the average annual real increases since …

    View Full Text

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription