The King's Fund

Spending on health and social care over the next 50 years: why think long term?

  • Format: Printed copy
  • Author: John Appleby
  • Publication date: 31 January 2013

In the past 50 years, spending on the NHS in the United Kingdom has increased from 3.4 per cent to 8.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). If the next 50 years follow the same trajectory, the United Kingdom could be spending nearly one-fifth of its entire GDP on the public provision of health and social care.

This report, by The King's Fund Chief Economist, John Appleby, considers the drivers of spending on health and long-term care, and asks whether spending must or should consume such large proportions of GDP in the future, and the fiscal feasibility of this.