Healthcare: On the Agenda - Freeze to leave NHS £20bn short

In a nutshell

An Institute for Fiscal Studies report shows that while the NHS could face budget austerity for a decade, the service will need an extra £20bn a year to meet demand.

About the report

The analysis plotted future spending scenarios for the NHS and examined their consequences for other public sector spending and taxation. It said the current planned freeze in NHS spending, from 2011-15, would be the tightest spending squeeze in its 50-year history. It found the health service will need an extra £20bn a year by the end of the decade to meet patient demand and implement social care reforms outlined in the Dilnot report. The think-tank warns that in the last half of the decade a mixture of greater borrowing, tax rises and charging will be needed. The report - NHS and social care funding: the outlook for 2021-22 - was funded by the Nuffield Trust.

PR strategy

Both the IFS and the Nuffield Trust contacted national and local media, while the charity organised a launch event that featured a presentation from an IFS researcher and speakers from the IFS and Nuffield Health, IPPR, Reform and the Foundation Trust Network. The report was publicised on Twitter.

Media coverage

The report's authors were interviewed on the BBC and Sky, and the story was picked up by the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, and medical, health and local press.

23% - Percentage of public service spending on NHS in 2010-11

£137bn - Total amount spent on the NHS in 2010-11.

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