This interactive chart shows our projection for the funding pressures facing primary care trust (PCT) commissioned services in the English NHS (which account for around 80 per cent of the total English NHS budget) up to 2021/22, assuming that the QIPP challenge savings are achieved between 2010/11 and 2014/15.

Our projection is shown together with three possible funding allocation scenarios for the NHS, previously estimated by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in their 2012 report for the Nuffield Trust.

The dark grey line shows funding pressures under our baseline assumption, in which recently observed rising trends in hospital activity, chronic conditions and pay continue between 2014/15 and 2021/22.

The green line shows the funding that would be available if the allocation for the English NHS grows in line with the average annual funding increase received by the UK NHS since its introduction in 1948 (four per cent in real terms).

Under this scenario, the funding available would be sufficient to meet the rising pressures. However, in the current economic environment, funding increases at this level are extremely unlikely.

The light blue line shows the funding that would be available if the allocation for the English NHS grew in line with the 2012 Office of Budget Responsibility projection of growth in GDP (2.4 per cent per year beyond 2014/15).

Under this scenario, funding pressures on English NHS services would exceed the funding allocation, creating a funding gap worth £12 billion in real terms in 2021/22. This equates to around £14 billion for the whole English NHS budget, and would require efficiency saving of two per cent a year.

The dark blue line shows the funding that would be available if the allocation for the English NHS is frozen in real terms beyond 2014/15. Under this scenario, funding pressures on English NHS services would exceed the funding allocation, creating a funding gap worth £28 billion in real terms in 2021/22.

This equates to around a £34 billion gap in the funding for the whole English NHS, and would require efficiency saving of four per cent a year.

This chart is taken from the report: A decade of austerity? The funding pressures facing the NHS from 2010/11 to 2021/22 (Nuffield Trust, December 2012), which forms part of the Nuffield Trust’s wider research programme: Buying time: what is the scale of the financial challenge facing the NHS and how can it be met?

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