Headlines: April 18th, 2002

In a report released surely to back up the thrust of the Budget, Derek Wanless announced that the country needs to devote a significantly larger share of its national income to health care.’Securing Our Future Health: Taking A Long-Term View’ also called for these extra resources to be efficiently and effectively used.

The Wanless Review was commissioned by the Treasury to be the first ever evidence-based assessment of the long-term resource requirements for the health service in the UK. An interim report came out in November 2001 followed by a period of consultation.

The final report sets out projections of resources required over the next 20 years to deliver a high quality health service. The projections show the UK spending between 10.6 and 12.5 per cent of GDP on health care by 2022-23, compared to 7.7 per cent today.

The projections propose the highest growth in spending in the early part of the Review period – an average of between 7.1 and 7.3 per cent a year in real terms over the first five years. This reflects the need for significant investment to allow the NHS to ‘catch up’ to standards elsewhere and to create the capacity essential to expand choice in future.

Yesterday’s budget allocates growth of 7.4% between now and 2008.

The review was announced in Budget 2001 and has been undertaken by Derek Wanless, former Group Chief Executive of NatWest Group.

The full report can be found on the web at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/Consultations_and_Legislation/wanless/consult_wanless_final.cfm