This interactive chart shows how spending on the NHS in the UK changed between 1949/50 and 2010/11. The left-hand axis measures real-terms spending (in £ billion). The right-hand axis measures NHS spending as a share of national income.
The average annual real growth rate over the NHS' history has been 4.0 per cent, with spending rising by 2010/11 to £137.4 billion (at 2012/13 prices). The tightest four-year period of NHS funding was during the period 1950/51 to 1954/55 (an average annual real cut of 2.4 per cent). The tightest period of funding in the last 50 years was during the period from 1975/76 to 1979/80 (average annual real growth of 1.3 per cent).
This chart is taken from: NHS and social care funding: the outlook to 2021/22 (July 2012), an Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report by Rowena Crawford and Carl Emmerson, funded by the Nuffield Trust.
Office of Health Economics (2012)