Comment on Health Committee report into the Spending Review settlements for health and social care

14 December 2010

The House of Commons Health Committee report on public expenditure on health and social care confirms that, whilst the health service is in a relatively privileged position compared to other areas of public spending, this is a very challenging settlement. The Nuffield Trust’s analysis of the Spending Review showed that overall resources would fall by 0.5 per cent excluding the £1billion being set aside to fund social care.

Responding to the Health Committee’s report on public expenditure on health and social care, Anita Charlesworth, Chief Economist of the Nuffield Trust said:

‘The NHS will need to keep a tight grip of inflationary pressures - particularly pay - and deliver an unprecedented improvement in productivity to maintain quality of care. As the Health Committee highlights, inflation estimates have already been revised upwards since October’s Spending Review, eroding the purchasing power of the NHS budget.

‘Management cost savings will make a contribution to this challenge, but the bulk of the gap between the pressures on the service and the budget will need to come from improved hospital efficiency and ensuring that care is delivered in the most cost-effective setting. The Nuffield Trust agrees with the committee’s assessment of the urgency of a clear national plan to deliver the £15-20 billion efficiency savings.’

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