New money will not lead to a big shift in services - Nuffield Trust

The funding boost will simply allow GPs and community services to keep up with demand.

Press release

Published: 22/11/2018

Commenting on the £3.5bn funding boost for primary and community services announced by the Prime Minister, Nuffield Trust Senior Policy Analyst Sally Gainsbury said:

“This additional money amounts to annual increases that are broadly in line with the 3.4% overall that the NHS in England is getting over the next five years [1].

 “That means that, far from representing a big shift in funding towards out-of-hospital services, this money will simply allow GPs and community services to keep up with demand over the next five years. That’s important, but it means the new money announced today is not going to lead to a significant change in the way that people experience healthcare.

“In many ways this is unsurprising. There are many existing calls on the new money pledged by the Prime Minister, like getting waiting times back on track and upgrading mental health services. We’ve calculated this will leave relatively little for any significant reform over the next couple of years.

“What’s more, even if this money did represent a major boost to primary and community services, there are serious questions about whether the NHS has the right staff in the right places to carry this out. "

Notes to editors

  1. This calculation is based on a baseline spend on primary care, community and GP services of £21.7bn in 2017/18.
  2. The Nuffield Trust is an independent health think tank. We aim to improve the quality of health care in the UK by providing evidence-based research and policy analysis and informing and generating debate.