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Is the NHS financially sustainable?

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The NHS is in the middle of its most financially parsimonious decade in its history. While it continues to treat and care for increasing numbers of people every year, after five years of tight funding, (and despite a huge overspend last year) headline waiting times targets are being missed by increasing numbers of health care organisations. There’s no doubt the NHS currently faces a short term crisis. But what about the longer term? As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, is this the beginning of the end for Britain’s best loved institution? Is the NHS financially sustainable, or do we have to start thinking of more radical ways to pay for health care?

Chaired by Dr Ed Wilson, Senior Research Associate, Health Economics, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Cambridge Institute of Public Health.

John Appleby joined the Nuffield Trust as Director of Research and Chief Economist in 2016 following his position at the King’s Fund as Chief Economist, and senior lectureships in health economics at the Universities of East Anglia and Birmingham. After his masters in health economics at the University of York in 1980, he worked in the NHS for seven years in Birmingham and London. For five years he worked for the National Association of Health Authorities (now the NHS Confederation) as manager of the Association’s Central Policy Unit. He has recently moved to the Nuffield Trusts as their Director of Research and Chief Economist.

John has published widely on a range of health care finance and economic issues in books, academic journals, reports, magazines and newspapers. He is a regular columnist for the British Medical Journal. Research include a major study of NHS performance since 2002 with Sir Derek Wanless, published by the King’s Fund, an analysis of the public’s attitudes to the NHS (the British Social Attitudes survey) and an analysis of future prospects for NHS funding written in partnership with the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

As well as his post at the King’s Fund, John is a Visiting Professor at the Department of Economics, City University, London, and at the Institute of Global Innovations at Imperial College London.

John has also acted as an advisor to the UK government and Parliament in various capacities, for example, carrying out a review for Ministers of the future funding needs of Northern Ireland’s health service, and as a task force member for the Marmot Commission on health inequalities; and as a special adviser to the House of Commons Health Select Committee.

This talk is part of the Bradford Hill Seminars series.

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