NHS chief says taxes alone can’t fund ailing £160billion-a-year service as he hints it might be time for a ‘private solution’ amid clamour for hospitals to get extra £32bn to get back on track

Photo of author
Written By Rivera Claudia

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

  • Wol Kolade highlighted the huge growth in healthcare spending in recent years 

The way the NHS is funded requires a radical overhaul as it now too costly to rely on taxes alone, the deputy chair of NHS England has said.

Wol Kolade highlighted the huge growth in healthcare spending in recent years and warned taxpayers can no longer afford to fund it at the rate that is required.

He said budgets have increased from around £110billion a year when he first joined the board in 2018 to around £165billion now, adding: ‘Where the hell is it going to stop? £250billion? £300billion?’

Mr Kolade, who is also a leading private equity figure, said the country needs a ‘big conversation’ about how the health service is funded and suggested social insurance or ‘some sort of private solution’ may have a role.

Wol Kolade highlighted the huge growth in healthcare spending in recent years and warned taxpayers can no longer afford to fund it at the rate that is required

His comments came as health leaders made a further plea for more cash and as a new study suggested the NHS needs an immediate injection of around £8.5billion a year over the next four years.

Leading experts said the money is needed to make up a £32billion shortfall in funding in England and would help tackle problems such as high waiting lists, access to GPs and worker shortages.

In the second report of the BMJ Commission on the Future of the NHS, economist and senior associate at the Nuffield Trust, John Appleby, plus two colleagues argue that, while the Government’s recent spring budget funding pledges are a start, they do not go far enough.

They said: ‘In the recent spring budget, the Government has pledged a further £2.5billion for the NHS in England in 2024-25 to keep up day-to-day funding of the health service, with a further £3.4billion investment over three years to improve productivity through digital transformation.

‘These figures, although a start, certainly will not make up the significant shortfall that the NHS now faces.’

Their views were echoed by Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, who said: ‘While pledges made in the latest Budget are a start, they do not go far enough in plugging the gap in health service funding.

Unveiled as part of the Budget earlier this month, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt claimed the move will unlock £35billion in returns in terms of efficiency in the health service

Unveiled as part of the Budget earlier this month, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt claimed the move will unlock £35billion in returns in terms of efficiency in the health service

‘We have been calling for further investment in capital for some time.’

However, in an interview with Private Equity News, Mr Kolade said: ‘We can essentially no longer continue to fund at the rate at which we need.

‘When I joined the board in 2018 it was something like £110bn. This year it’s £160-170bn.

‘That sort of rate of growth cannot continue. Where the hell is it going to stop? £250bn? £300bn?

‘At what point do you say, will you think about the way we provide this? Is it a mixture of social insurance or some sort of private solution? It’s a big conversation.’

Mr Kolade became a non-executive director on the NHS improvement board in 2018 and deputy chair of NHS England in 2022.

He is also managing partner at London-based private equity firm, Livingbridge, which has made a number of investments into UK healthcare.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘The Government is fully committed to the NHS as a public service free at the point of need, which is faster, simpler and fairer.

‘This is irrespective of whether care is provided by NHS organisations, which provide the majority of the UK’s healthcare, or by the private, voluntary or social enterprise sectors.

‘We announced in the Budget that the NHS in England will receive a £2.5 billion day-to-day funding boost this year and a further £3.4 billion investment in the latest technology from 2025.

‘We are providing the NHS with record funding of nearly £165 billion a year by the end of this Parliament, an increase of 13% in real terms compared to 2019-20.’

SOURCE

Leave a Comment

MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf MrSf