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Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher at Reform, wrote an article in Prospect after the release of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s fiscal projections. Costs for the NHS are set to rise from 6.9 per cent of GDP in 2021 – 22 to 12.6 per cent in 2066 – 67, which is not sustainable for public finances.
He argued that the projections should provide fresh impetus for the government looking to deliver an NHS that can meet the needs of 21st-century patients. There are ways this can be done. The use of mobile apps could triage patients, particularly the “worried well”, freeing up GPs for other appointments. Larger general practices can deliver urgent care, diagnostics and even minor surgery. Also, the wider NHS workforce, particularly nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists, could be used much more effectively by GPs, freeing up their own time even further.
“Reform has always been needed in the NHS to meet the needs of patients at lower costs. Yesterday’s OBR figures up the stakes: reform is now needed to ensure the existence of the NHS.”
Read the full article here.