IGHI Director Professor Ara Darzi sets out challenges faced by the NHS and social care in interim report of his independent review.
The independent Lord Darzi Review was launched in December 2017 in partnership with the with the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and aims to examine and reform the quality and funding of healthcare within the NHS. The final report from the review including a proposed long-term funding settlement and a plan for reform of health and care will be launched in time for the NHS’s 70th birthday celebrations later this year.
There is much to be celebrated ten years on from Darzi’s landmark 2008 report High Quality Care for All such as an increase in cancer survivors, improved maternal and infant mortality rates, a reduction in suicides and better patient safety.
However, the past ten years have been very challenging for the NHS, with funding for social care declining almost every year since 2010 and fewer people getting the support and care they so desperately need.
New findings by IPPR for the Lord Darzi Review show that returning the NHS to its long run funding growth will require a year-on-year increase in annual expenditure. This additional annual cost will reach £50bn by 2030. Accordingly, funding would need to rise from £123bn in 2017 to £173bn by 2030.
Pressures on social care are also set to accelerate. As a minimum, adult social care will require an extra £10bn per annum by 2030 just to maintain the existing system.
Even if both of these funding requirements are met, the report shows that the NHS will have to deliver productivity growth of one and half times its long run trend requiring fundamental reform of the system.
NHS staff should be congratulated for the improvements they have made to the quality of care they provide. But it is getting harder and harder to access that care and the system is in financial distress. Lord Ara Darzi Director, Institute of Global Health Innovation
As a result, we are seeing signs of a system under strain - patients left in corridors, operations cancelled and deficits on the rise. “Simply demanding more for less or promising more money without a plan for better care isn’t good enough” says Lord Darzi. “NHS staff should be congratulated for the improvements they have made to the quality of care they provide. But it is getting harder and harder to access that care and the system is in financial distress.
While the prospect of a long-term funding settlement is welcome, it is vital that it delivers enough money to meet the demands of the decade ahead. Funding the NHS, while social care falls over is not an option.”
It is a fundamental error of logic to say that something is unaffordable, so we should move to something more expensive. As the Review shows, the NHS provides high quality care—it is a service that we should be proud to invest in. Tom Kibasi Director of IPPR
Tom Kibasi, Director of IPPR said: “Our research shows that ‘taxpayer-funded – free at the point of need’ is the most efficient way to finance and organise the health service. Social and private insurance models in other countries are more-costly. That’s why those who say the NHS is unsustainable are wrong. It is a fundamental error of logic to say that something is unaffordable, so we should move to something more expensive. As the Review shows, the NHS provides high quality care—it is a service that we should be proud to invest in.”
Lord Darzi’s interim report contains a wide-ranging analysis of the changes in quality, access and cost over the past ten years. These analytics have been undertaken by Carnall Farrar, a consultancy with expertise in health analytics.
Read the interim report in full here.
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