Identifying options for funding the NHS and social care in the UK: international evidence Funding options for the NHS and social care in the UK

July 2018

Jonathan Cylus
Daniel Roland
Ellen Nolte
Jennie Corbett
Karen Jones
Julien Forder
Jon Sussex
Thumbnail

Key points

  • Most reviewed countries fund health care primarily from public sources, such as taxation and mandatory health insurance, but funding of social care often relies more than health care on individuals paying privately.

  • Health and social care funding reforms tend to be incremental rather than radical, are path-dependent, and are catalysed by changes in economic conditions rather than by rising demand for care.

  • High-income countries have taken diverse approaches to tackling the need to increase health and social care funding and there is no single optimal, or commonly preferred, solution to achieving sustainable revenues.

This working paper is part of a research project exploring funding options for the NHS and social care in the UK

It explores how 16 other high-income countries have thought about and implemented changes to their funding systems for health and social care to better meet the challenges ahead.

It provides examples of funding configurations for health and social care, as well as changes that have been implemented, or are being considered, in a range of high-income countries. It explores the drivers of recent or planned health and social care funding changes and reforms, and the contexts within which decisions around funding were taken. Finally, the paper also highlights key points that can inform the range of conceivable options for funding health care and social care in the four countries of the UK.

Cite this publication

Cylus J, Roland D, Nolte E, Corbett J, Jones K, Forder K, Sussex J, 'Identifying options for funding the NHS and social care in the UK: international evidence'. Health Foundation; 2018

Further reading

Research report

A fork in the road: Next steps for social care funding reform

May 2018
Research report

Our new report looks into the costs of social care funding options, public attitudes to them, and...

Working paper

Public acceptability of health and social care funding options

February 2019
Working paper

This paper explores the preferences of the general public with regard to the various ways of raising...

You might also like...

Event

Webinar: The government Spending Review

Event

Catch up on this Health Foundation webinar, analysing the key headlines from the government's...

Consultation response

Workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care

Consultation response

Health Foundation response to the Health and Social Care Committee on the need for a comprehensive...

Press release

Spending Review leaves NHS England £6bn short next year

Press release

Health Foundation response to the Chancellor's Spending Review.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Systemic weaknesses in the health service are making it hard for the UK to cope with the latest surge of COVID-19 p… https://t.co/Ss6EdA6nqj

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more