• The NHS is facing unprecedented financial pressures two and a half years after the publication of the Five year forward view.
  • This report analyses the finances of NHS providers and the consultant productivity of acute NHS hospitals, drawing on their annual acounts from 2009/10 to 2015/16 and linking this to wider NHS data.
  • Our analyses show that NHS providers saw relatively little of the income growth for the NHS as a whole, and that productivity for consultants and the wider workforce in acute hospitals has been falling.

Download A year of plenty? An analysis of NHS finances and consultant productivity.

Key points

  • Additional funding for health care was announced in the 2015 Autumn Statement. It has been front-loaded in 2015/16 and 2016/17. For this investment, primary care and mental health were stated as priorities.
  • Rising costs outstripped growth in funding for NHS providers, whose financial position continued to worsen.
  • Demand for care is rising faster than NHS provider income, with emergency admissions crowding out elective admissions.
  • Efficiency gains are becoming increasingly difficult and are below target.
  • The number of consultants has increased, but productivity has fallen.
  • The NHS does not operate in isolation; system change is needed to tackle its financial problems and their root causes.

Further reading

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