The funding and efficiency gap


A combination of growing demand, no further annual efficiencies and flat real-terms funding is expected to produce a gap between resources and patient needs of nearly £30 billion a year by 2020/21.

What the 5YFV proposes

To sustain a high-quality NHS that meets the changing needs of patients both now and in the future, that gap must be closed through taking action on demand, efficiency and funding. 

  • Preventing and managing demand
    • Preventing ill health will reduce demand for services and the measures to address the health and wellbeing gap will have a positive effect on this. 
  • Redesigning more productive services
    • Different ways of working and harnessing innovation and technology will ensure the NHS works more efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Maximising the value of the NHS budget
    • Currently, there is great variation in the amount NHS organisations spend on similar products or services. Understanding spending patterns across the NHS will help to see where changes could be made
    • Transparency will help to understand if money is being spent well. NHS England will develop a common measure of the good use of resources in the NHS, including making available transparent and high-quality productivity information. 

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