Productivity growth in the English National Health Service from 1998/1999 to 2013/2014

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Productivity growth is a key measure against which National Health Service (NHS) achievements are judged. We measure NHS productivity growth as a set of paired year-on-year comparisons from 1998/1999–1999/2000 through 2012/2013–
2013/2014, which are converted into a chained index that summarises productivity growth over the entire period. Our measure is as comprehensive as data permit and accounts for the multitude of diverse outputs and inputs involved in the production process and for regular revisions to the data used to quantify outputs and inputs. Over the full-time period, NHS output increased by 88:96% and inputs by 81:58%, delivering overall total factor productivity growth of 4:07%. Productivity growth was negative during the first two terms of Blair’s government, with average yearly growth rate of 1:01% per annum (pa) during the first term (to 2000/2001) and 1:49% pa during the second term (2000/2001–
2004/2005). Productivity growth was positive under Blair’s third term (2004/2005–2007/2008) at 1:41% pa and under the Brown government (2007/2008–2010/2011), averaging 1:13% pa. Productivity growth remained positive under the Coalition (2010/2011–2013/2014), averaging 1:56% pa.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalHealth Economics
Early online date4 Apr 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016 The Authors


  • productivity growth
  • total factor productivity
  • NHS outputs and inputs

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