Looking ahead: the NHS at 100
01 July 2018
In July 2018, the NHS will be 70 years old. Many commentators, including the HFMA, have called for a long-term plan for the NHS to take it through to 100 years and not just focus on the next two, three or five years. Consequently, the HFMA, with others, has carried out some long-term thinking about the factors that will impact on the financial future of health and social care over the next 30 years.
As well as marking the 70th birthday of the NHS, the objective is to help HFMA members, and others, think about and plan for the future. This report explores the key challenges we think will have the biggest impact on the financial future of health and social care. While it is difficult to predict with any certainty what the future holds, we highlight the likely direction of travel and provide insight which will help inform the decisions that are being made now.
While much can change in 30 years, many aspects have remained consistent in the last 70, including the fundamental basis of the NHS that care is free at the point of delivery, based on need not ability to pay. It is with that guiding principle that we consider the challenges we face in the coming 30 years; defining the issue and the implications of it for the finance function and the wider NHS and care system.