Nuffield Trust response to Labour comments on wasted spending in the NHS

No political party is proposing funding increases significant enough to address NHS inefficiency.

Press release

Published: 22/01/2024

Responding to Labour's comments on wasted NHS spending, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Thea Stein said:

“As the biggest tax-funded service in the UK, it’s essential that every pound the NHS spends is used in the most effective way, but we know this isn’t happening and we constantly hear different examples of NHS inefficiency. These problems themselves have deep roots, much of which comes down to underinvestment – and no political party is proposing funding increases significant enough to address these.

“Repeated pots of emergency funding to community and social care services have not been enough to address delays to patients leaving hospital when they need care elsewhere. A lack of joined up thinking between the NHS and social care have hindered long-term thinking and, more importantly, prevented people from accessing the best care and support when they need it. If we had also invested better in NHS buildings and equipment, valuable staff time would have been saved. The cost of tackling these problems is growing every day.

“The policy debate on making the NHS more productive is mired in finger pointing and blame shifting. Collaborative work at all levels is needed to truly understand and tackle this.”

Notes to editors

1.    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

2.    For all queries or to arrange an interview, contact our press office:; or 020 7462 0500.