Our NHS Works

Did you know? The NHS has saved more lives per pound spent than virtually every other health service in the world over last 25 years [1]


We hear little good news about the NHS even though it sucessfully cares for a million patients every 36 hours.

Many of the current problems stem from policies that are putting huge pressure on our health service. Does this mean the NHS itself is broken, no the evidence does not say this. It can still care for us all, if it is properly organised and supported. Three policy choices have threatened the future of our NHS.


1. Pressure on funding

Spending on the NHS has remained broadly flat since 2010.  In the ten years before this the real terms annual increase was about 6.4%. At the same time cuts to social care have put more pressure on the NHS.

Instead of expanding services managers have been forced to find £20bn savings to NHS budgets over the last 5 years, which has left many departments overworked and understaffed. A further £22bn in NHS "effciency savings" must be found by 2020.


2. Wasteful reorganisation

In 2012 the government forced through a huge reorganisation of the NHS against the advice of NHS staff. Estimates put the cost at £3bn.[4] The new system relies on outsourcing NHS work through the market, with rising expenditure on tenders, marketing and legal costs. All draining funding away from patients.


3. Privatisation

The Prime Minister said the NHS wouldn’t be sold off, but £5bn worth of NHS contracts are up for grabs and so far our research has shown that 70% of those awarded have gone to the private sector.[5] The Private Finance Initiative continues to drain crucial funding from our hospitals.


Our NHS works

We spend less on our health service than most comparable countries. We have less doctors per patient and fewer beds than the average. Before the latest changes to the NHS in England an international study (of 11 high-income countries) found that people in the UK have among the fastest access to GPs, the best coordinated care, and suffer from the among the fewest medical errors.[6] Of course the NHS has problems, but the evidence we are gathering shows that these have mostly been created by government changes. A huge funding squeeze and market-driven policies are causing real harm to services and patients.

Please support our work with a donation. It will help us to gather evidence, involve the public, stop the mistreatment of our NHS, and give it the help that it deserves.

Thank you for your support.

1 http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/aug/07/nhs-among-most-efficient-health-services
2 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9722661/David-Cameron-ordered-to-stop-saying-NHS-spending-is-up.html
3 http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/commissioning-news/ccgs-to-make-30bn-of-savings/20003578.article#.UzFND6h_uSo
4 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7894203/NHS-reforms-will-cost-3bn-and-will-not-work-academic.html
5 http://www.nhsforsale.info/privatisation-list/contract-alert/contract-alert-report-apr-dec.html
6 http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/feb/23/outperforming-nhs-reform-study-concludes