The Financial Times reports that analysis undertaken by the newspaper and the Nuffield Trust has found that the amount the NHS spends per patient would fall between £98 and £191 by 2020 under the main political parties’ funding pledges. Currently the Conservatives plan to hold NHS spending in line with inflation, which using NHS England’s own calculations would mean a fall in spending per patient of £191 by 2020 in comparison with 2009 levels.
Similar calculations would see per patient spending fall by £174 under the Liberal Democrats and £98 under Labour. In 2009 the NHS spent £2,021 per patient with the age group of 85 and over requiring the most funds. With an ageing population that has increasingly complex health needs, including the rise of co-morbidities, it is anticipated that spending will need to significantly increase. The findings highlight that despite the current political battleground regarding the NHS budget all three parties’ funding pledges will in effect mean a real terms cut in per patient spending.