NHS reforms

02.05.18

Dixon: NHS performance ‘middling’ in Europe due to ‘bleedin’ obvious’ lack of funding

The NHS performance is “middling” in comparison to other Western European countries, the chief executive of a leading independent health charity has said.

Addressing the inaugural annual NHS Confederation lecture in London yesterday, Dr Jennifer Dixon, head of the Health Foundation, pointed to a “bleedin’ obvious” lack of funding in the NHS that puts the UK behind the European frontrunners in innovative and high-quality healthcare.

“Investment in healthcare clearly produces better health,” Dixon continued. “Better health has economic benefits. So paying for health is not a drain on the public purse you can afford only when the economy picks up.”

The health chief noted that the population is in high demand of more health care, and claimed there is a strong argument to raise taxes to give it to them – a move that the majority of the UK public agree with.

The speaker compared the UK’s investment in the health service to that of Germany’s: if they UK had spent at the rate of Germany since 2000, it would have invested an extra £620b in healthcare – around four times the current spend.

“And that’s partly why, when you ask German hospital CEOs about winter pressures, they don’t turn a hair. They just have more: beds, doctors, nurses, kit… you name it. And with €20-30bn extra a year we might be in the same position,” Dixon argued.

Over the turn of the year, the NHS faced its most difficult winter to date in coping with demand for beds and resources. The Health Foundation boss claimed that increasing intervention and regulation by government without sufficient checks and balances mean the UK is particularly prone to “policy disasters,” adding that “simply poking, controlling and to an extent reshaping” NHS administrative structures won’t allow the health service to meet these increasing peaks in demand at wintertime.

In improving the health service for the future, Dixon called upon making the NHS a “tranquil zone,” removing confrontation between political parties, trusts, and staff members, invest in the service by 3-4% per annum, and to take more leadership to build trust in the use of patient-level data for collective benefit that is not monetised into profit.

She added: “All that is a big agenda for leaders in the NHS, and patients. But we have plenty of talent, will and values to do it.

“I believe we are genuinely at an inflexion point now. The transmission mechanism for improvement will be far more through collaborating networks, and communities.”

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said of her speech: “We agree with the Health Foundation that more funding is needed and would argue that any long-term funding settlement must bring health and care together and move away from short-term cash injections that do not enable transformation.

“We are starting to see signs of movement from government and politicians more widely on a challenge we have long argued is the most pressing domestic issue of our age. We also recognise the importance of clarity around what health and care services should provide in return for extra investment.”

 

Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

NHS pays out £22m in damages to disabled girl starved of oxygen at birth

13/12/2018NHS pays out £22m in damages to disabled girl starved of oxygen at birth

A severely disabled 11-year-old girl who was starved of oxygen at birth has been handed a massive £22m payout from the NHS. The girl &... more >
Former King’s Fund CEO Sir Chris Ham to chair Coventry and Warwickshire STP

13/12/2018Former King’s Fund CEO Sir Chris Ham to chair Coventry and Warwickshire STP

Professor Sir Chris Ham, the outgoing chief executive of The King’s Fund, is to take up the role of independent chair of ‘Better Heal... more >
‘We have lost all confidence’: Number of women affected by Capita cancer screening scandal rises above 50,000

13/12/2018‘We have lost all confidence’: Number of women affected by Capita cancer screening scandal rises above 50,000

Even more women have been affected by Capita’s cervical screening programme scandal than previously thought. NHS England has admitted ... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond doubt or dispute, other than in government, th... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

The robots are here at East Suffolk and North Essex

12/12/2018The robots are here at East Suffolk and North Essex

Lauren Hockney, senior communications officer at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS FT (ESNEFT), outlines how her trust is embracing the digital and automation revolution. Robots have arrived at the ESNEFT, and they are giving back hundreds of hours to staff so they can spend more time helping patients. The trust, which includes Colche... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Creating a volunteer 'passport'

12/12/2018Creating a volunteer 'passport'

By utilising the health service’s volunteers, we can deliver better care for everyone, argues Kay Fawcett OBE, clinical project lead at Hel... more >
Right people, right place, right now

12/12/2018Right people, right place, right now

Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, raises concerns around the mental health workforce and shares some best practice from ... more >
Breaking down barriers to integration

12/12/2018Breaking down barriers to integration

Anne Marie Morris, member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and MP for Newton Abbott, outlines the committee’s recent report on the ba... more >
An attack on them is an attack on us all

12/12/2018An attack on them is an attack on us all

Chris Bryant MP discusses the new law he championed that came into effect in September, which doubles jail time for anyone who assaults emergency... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News