Total health spending in England is about £120 billion and is expected to rise by almost £5 billion by 2020, taking inflation into account.
The NHS is facing severe financial pressures, with trusts across the country spending more than they’re bringing in. The NHS is also being asked to find £22 billion in savings by 2020, in order to keep up with rising demand and an ageing population.
Health experts from the Nuffield Trust, Health Foundation and King’s Fund say current spending plans aren’t enough to maintain standards of care, meet rising patient demand and deliver new services such as the so-called “seven-day NHS”.
NHS providers are in deficit
About two-thirds of NHS trusts—which provide secondary care to patients who’ve been referred there by a GP—are in the red.
Collectively they finished last year (2015/16) with a deficit of about £2.5 billion. They’d have had a bigger shortfall without measures (£) taken by NHS England and the Department of Health to shore up the finances for that year.
The size of the deficit has been growing—in 2014-15 the overall deficit was £574 million.
Local deficits end up costing the government money. The Department of Health and NHS England put in £2.4 billion in extra financial support for trusts last year, to support their deficits.