With no clear signs of economic recovery, NHS funding may be frozen for further years. In that context, it is crucial that the NHS becomes better at preventing and managing long-term conditions.
This briefing outlines our response to the Health Committee’s inquiry into the management of long-terms conditions, which closed on 9 May 2013.
The briefing highlights that a key beneﬁt of having a single payer of health care with universal coverage is that several years of inpatient data for the whole population are available and can be used, through time series analyses, to explore whether in combination national and local preventive care initiatives are having an impact on the rates of emergency admissions.
This can be a useful approach given that new initiatives in the NHS are often grafted onto a range of older ones which are still developing, and evaluations of individual programmes might not be undertaken over long enough periods, nor take account of the interplay of different policies and initiatives.
Without unprecedented, sustained increases in health service productivity, including more effective management of chronic conditions, funding for the NHS in England will need to increase in real terms between 2015/16 and 2021/22 to avoid cuts to the service or a fall in quality
Having a single payer also makes it possible to discern the aggregate balance of spending across different sectors of the NHS in England (such as hospital, primary and community services) from the annual accounts of strategic health authorities, primary care trusts, NHS and foundation trusts, which are consolidated into annual accounts produced by the Department of Health and Monitor.
This submission draws on findings from these data sources, as well as recent modelling work quantifying the funding pressures facing the NHS in England over the decade to 2021/22, and a two-year in-depth study of commissioning practice in three high-performing primary care trust (PCT) areas (Calderdale, Somerset and the Wirral).
Nuffield Trust (2013) Health Committee inquiry submission: management of long-term conditions. Briefing.