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Has increased funding improved the quality of health service?

A report by Professor John Appleby, the Chief Economist at the King’s Fund, discusses what has happened to the money the Government has invested in the NHS over the last few years, and whether targets have been achieved following this additional funding.

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Since 2000, cash spent on the NHS alone has more than doubled, by around £55 billion. It is suggested that huge amounts have been spent on increased salaries and prices.

Professor Appleby states that, of the £19 billion cash increase in spending for the hospital and community health services from 2004/5 to 2007/8, around 34% has been used by increases in NHS staff pay. Furthermore, the higher prices for the products and services that the NHS purchases takes 5% of the £19 billion investment. The NHS has also had to meet a number of cost pressures, such as paying for the consequences of implementing the EU working time directive for junior doctors, paying out on clinical negligence clains, and these add up to a further 30% of the £19 billion. The actual amount of money left to spend on developing services, improving the quality of care and meeting targets is £5.9 billion, which represents 31% of the original investment.