Value for money in the English NHS

Summary of the evidence

December 2006

Sheila Leatherman

Key points

  • For a period from 2000, NHS funding was increased to match European levels of spending on healthcare. 
  • Questions remain over where the extra money has gone and how wisely it is being spent. The extent to which the NHS secures value for money for taxpayers has become a central issue of political and public debate.
  • This report therefore seeks to answer the following questions:
    • How much extra money has been made available to the NHS?
    • What has the extra money been spent on?
    • What improvements have been made in the volume and quality of healthcare?
    • What are the implications for productivity?

This research report assesses whether the NHS provides value for money for the English taxpayer. It looks at increases in spending levels and asks whether these have translated into a corresponding rise in the quality of care for patients.

Value for Money in the English NHS: summary of the evidence was undertaken as part of QQUIP, a five year initiative of the Health Foundation. It shows that while expenditure on drugs, NHS staff, salaries and training may have increased, the additional £6n per year being spent on healthcare is unlikely to transform the health service.

QQUIP (Quest for Quality and Improved Performance) was a 5-year research initiative of The Health Foundation. QQUIP provided independent reports on a wide range of data about the quality of healthcare in the UK. It drew on the international evidence base to produce information on where healthcare resources are currently being spent, whether they provide value for money and how interventions in the UK and around the world have been used to improve healthcare quality.

You might also like...

Press release

Latest data shows health system struggling against strong tides

Health Foundation response to NHS England performance statistics.

Press release

Older people living alone are 50% more likely to visit A&E than those who live with others

Our latest research explores the connection between older people living alone and health care use.


Identifying the active ingredients for success

In his latest blog post, Adam Steventon, Director of Data Analytics, welcomes new investment in community health care teams b...

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