NHS productivity grows faster than wider economy

A new study by the University of York’s Centre for Health Economics has shown that the productivity of the NHS has improved almost two and a half times as fast than the wider economy over the last 12 years.

According to the study, Productivity of the English NHS: 2016/17 Update, NHS staff provided 16.5% more care pound for pound in 2016/17 than they did in 2004/05, compared to productivity growth of only 6.7 per cent in the economy as a whole.

The study shows NHS outputs have continuously increased since they started being measured a dozen years ago.

Some 5.2 million more patients received planned or emergency hospital treatments in 2016/17 than in 2004/05 – an increase of about 42 per cent.

Separately outpatient activity has shot up by 131% since 2004/05, with over 60 million more attendances in 2016/17 compared to 2007/08.

Increases in NHS outputs have been mirrored by increases in inputs. Between 2004/05 and 2016/17, expenditure on NHS staff increased by 57.4 per cent, while expenditure on materials and capital increased by 202.3% and 189.2% respectively.

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