Parties pledges on health might mean real term NHS funding cut

The Financial Times reports that analysis undertaken by the newspaper and the Nuffield Trust has found that the amount the NHS spends per patient would fall between £98 and £191 by 2020 under the main political parties’ funding pledges. Currently the Conservatives plan to hold NHS spending in line with inflation, which using NHS England’s own calculations would mean a fall in spending per patient of £191 by 2020 in comparison with 2009 levels.

Similar calculations would see per patient spending fall by £174 under the Liberal Democrats and £98 under Labour. In 2009 the NHS spent £2,021 per patient with the age group of 85 and over requiring the most funds. With an ageing population that has increasingly complex health needs, including the rise of co-morbidities, it is anticipated that spending will need to significantly increase. The findings highlight that despite the current political battleground regarding the NHS budget all three parties’ funding pledges will in effect mean a real terms cut in per patient spending.