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
Zoe Firth
Ben Gershlick
Adam Roberts
Tom Lee
George Stoye
Ben Zarenko
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

May 2018
Research report

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

You might also like...

Press release

Efforts to clear record NHS backlog undermined by lack of workforce plan

Press release

Health Foundation response to the monthly NHS performance statistics

Press release

If the NHS is to recover and become more resilient it will need significant resources

Press release

Health Foundation commenting on the speech by the Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP at NHS ConfedExpo.

Podcast

Reforming health care: reflections from a former health minister – with Lord Norman Warner

Podcast

Episode 20. The NHS is experiencing an unusual set of pressures at the moment. Lord Norman Warner...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity and harmful alcohol use are leading risk factors driving the UK’s high burd… https://t.co/5GNoY93ReR

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