Stats show drop in NHS productivity

Julian Harris
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PRODUCTIVITY in the NHS worsened between 1995 and 2009, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed yesterday.

Government spending on the NHS soared in the period, from £38bn to £111bn, 7.9 per cent a year on average, the ONS revealed.

While services improved, output did not match the increase in input, leaving productivity to decline by 2.7 per cent, an annual average fall of 0.2 per cent, the data showed.

The NHS ranks poorly among health services in peer countries for efficiency, recent studies from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found.

Only Greece and Ireland’s healthcare sectors had more scope for efficiency savings, an OECD study found.

“These international comparisons demonstrate that the need for reform in the NHS is overwhelming,” said Thomas Cawston of the thinktank Reform.

Ageing populations and costly developments in medical technology will drive up governmnt’s health costs by up to six per cent of GDP by 2050, the OECD has said.