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The financial crisis in the National Health Service: insufficient funding will derail transformation plans

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Publication details

JournalRadical Statistics
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Aug 2016
Issue number115
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)37-53
Original languageEnglish


NHS England’s Five Year Forward View (5YFV) set out ambitious plans to transform the National Health Service (NHS) by 2021. The plans required the NHS to achieve productivity gains of 2-3% a year and the government to increase NHS funding by £8bn. Even though NHS productivity growth has outstripped that of the economy as a whole since the recession, the gains required of the 5YFV are unprecedented. For its part, the government is committing just £4.5bn in increased funding and is also pushing for a 7-day NHS which will further increase costs. Meanwhile the NHS is in financial crisis,, with growing hospital deficits diverting resources from the 5YFV’s transformation agenda. All told, the ambitious plans of the 5YFV are unlikely to be realised.

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