Securing the future: funding health and social care to the 2030s

Cost pressures on the NHS are set to grow: a long-term funding solution is needed, likely through tax increases

May 2018

Paul Johnson
Thumbnail

Key findings

  • Just to maintain current service levels, UK health spending will need to increase by £95bn by 2033/34, rising from 7.3% of national income this year to 8.9% of national income – increases of 3.3% a year.
  • But if the government wishes to improve NHS services, including meeting waiting times targets and addressing under-provision in mental health services, increases of approximately 4% a year will be needed.
  • Some catch-up money will be needed over the next five years to maintain services and address the backlog of funding problems. This will require funding to grow by 5% a year, before falling back to levels closer to the historic trend of 3.7%.
  • Meeting these pressures will almost certainly require tax increases, as cuts in spending on other services are unsustainable following eight years of austerity. 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Health Foundation have undertaken research to look at how much health spending would need to rise to provide the level of service it does today and how much it would need to modernise and improve for the future. 

These findings are the result of careful ‘bottom-up’ modelling of supply and demand factors in the health and social care sectors including demographic change, population health and cost data. The research was carried out by researchers from the Health Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, in association with the NHS Confederation.

Further reading

Research report

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

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

You might also like...

Press release

The NHS has a new long-term plan but this is not 'job done'

The Health Foundation has responded to the publication of the NAO's annual report on the financial sustainability of the NHS.

Press release

NHS long term plan launch: pragmatic and ambitious, but making it a reality will be tough

Health Foundation response to launch of new long term plan for the NHS in England

Press release

NHS long term plan announcement: a welcome commitment but trade-offs are inevitable

Health Foundation response to Prime Minister’s announcement of NHS long term plan.

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