The UK’s health service has become a victim of its own success.
In recent years, it has been overtaken by the NHS in spending, but the gap is closing, according to new research.
The figures, released today by the charity Monitor, show that in the first quarter of this year, NHS spending rose by 5 per cent on the same period last year, but that spending is only now being matched by inflation, a trend that will likely accelerate in coming years.
The increase in NHS spending is mainly down to an increase in patient numbers, the researchers found.
“The UK has a huge amount of patient numbers and they’re getting older,” said Mark Bennett, co-author of the Monitor report and professor of health policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
“This means that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the NHS to spend the money it needs to keep up with the growth of the population.”
Bennett said the increase in spending is largely due to the government’s plan to shift more of its spending away from the NHS towards social care.
“That means the government will need to spend less on the care and support of people in hospitals and care homes,” he said.
The government will be able to spend as much as it wants on social care, but will need the support of the private sector, he said, adding that this is a “dangerous scenario”.
“There is no guarantee that the private system will provide the kind of services that the NHS needs,” Bennett said.
“There are plenty of people who are very ill who will not be able or willing to receive care from the private health service.”
The Monitor report found that while the NHS had been growing faster than inflation since the mid-1980s, spending on the system has been on a downward trajectory for the past decade.
This has led to the NHS having to cut back on care for vulnerable people, including those with dementia and mental health problems, and has led the charity to warn that it is now “failing to provide a high quality service”.
Bennett said: “The fact that the UK has an ageing population, a growing population, and a huge need for social care means the NHS will need an increase of around 1.5 per cent in spending this year.”
But if the NHS is spending less on care, it is not going to be able afford to do so.
Monitor’s analysis showed that the spending of NHS services in England has fallen by 1 per cent since the end of the financial crisis in 2007, and by 2 per cent between 2012 and 2014. “
It is now clear that the government needs to change its approach and provide a much-needed boost in funding for the health service to support its growing population and improve its performance.”
Monitor’s analysis showed that the spending of NHS services in England has fallen by 1 per cent since the end of the financial crisis in 2007, and by 2 per cent between 2012 and 2014.
While the NHS spent more on social services, its spending on care and carers has also fallen, the report found.
The report found: “A review of the NHS’s spending in England by Monitor found that its funding had dropped by £1.7 billion since 2007, but had increased by an additional £6.4 billion over the past four years, mainly as a result of spending on social and support services.”
While the spending has been falling, the rise in demand for social services has not, according the report.
“When NHS spending increased by 4 per cent from the end, it had a net gain of £3.4 million.
By the end-of-year, NHS expenditure had grown by an average of 4 per, and the net increase had been 4 per per cent,” the report said.
It added: “At the same time, the NHS has been spending less than it should on social welfare.”
The report said: Health spending has not been increasing in line with the needs of the health system, but has increased in response to population growth.
It is also clear that there are many people who will need social care and the NHS cannot meet their needs, especially those with mental health and dementia.
“While the NHS spends a lot on social work, it needs the support and expertise of the sector,” Bennett added.
“We need to increase social care funding to ensure that people can get the care they need.”
The charity also found that despite increasing demand for services, the UK had not been spending as much on social protection as other European countries.
This is partly due to a lack of investment in mental health services, and partly because people are less likely to seek treatment in hospitals.
“Despite the fact that it has increased spending on mental health, NHS care has not grown as rapidly as other countries,” the Monitor study found.
As a result, there is a risk that the ageing population could overwhelm the NHS, Bennett said, which would mean more people needing care in hospitals, which could increase the costs of care.
The NHS spends less on social support, but its spending