The King’s Fund has identified three big challenges for the NHS in England:
- sustaining existing services and standards of care
- developing new and better models of care
- tackling these challenges by reforming the NHS ‘from within’
As well as addressing these three challenges, the NHS and social care will need additional funding towards the latter end of this parliament (and possibly sooner). While there are many opportunities to provide better value and release resources through the approaches we have described, we do not believe this can be achieved at the pace or on the scale needed to deliver £22 billion by 2020/21. The Spending Review settlement provides for very low increases in NHS budgets in 2018/19 and 2019/20, which are simply not enough to balance the books and meet rising demand from patients. The impact of the Spending Review on social care is uncertain, but overall will not be enough to close the funding gap, which we estimate will be between £2.8 and £3.5 billion by the end of the parliament.
Tackling the growing crisis in the NHS