The healthcare system is undergoing significant transformation. In 2018-19, spending on healthcare by the Department for Health and Social Care amounted to £132.9 billion. Last year the NHS received a historic funding settlement £20.5 billion a year by 2023-24 to help ease demand and financial pressures, and put the Service on a sustainable footing.
The NHS Long-Term Plan sets out strategic priorities for the future of the NHS and commits to greater funding for primary and community care and mental health services. The funding package, however, does not cover other essential spending by the Department for Health and Social Care, including funding for education and training, investment in buildings and equipment, and public health grant money for local councils. Action on delivering a long-term funding solution for social care has also stalled, with Local Authorities now facing a £3.5 billion funding gap in the next five years.
Delivering 21st-century healthcare care will not only require fundamental redesign of the system, but also ensuring that investment is allocated effectively and spent to the greatest effect.