NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs

International evidence suggests that the NHS is efficent by global standards and this morning's news that the NHS made productivity gains over the last decade just confirms that

 

The health bill is in even more trouble this morning, as one of the central rationales behind the legislation appeared to crumble.

The government has always argued that the extension of an ‘external market’ to the NHS – patient choice – is required to tackle falling productivity in the NHS.

However, as the BBC reports:

Official figures do not reflect the real improvements made in the NHS in England, according to a paper in the Lancet medical journal. It says a myth has grown up that the health service became less productive as funding increased…

“The paper argues that politicians have reached a flawed consensus that NHS productivity fell in the decade after 2000…

“Prof Nick Black from the department of public Health and policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London, who wrote the article, argues that it “probably improved”.

“He says assumptions that hospital productivity fell by 1.4 per cent a year, and overall NHS productivity fell by 0.4 per cent a year, are based on analyses by the Office for National Statistics. He says these did not reflect this increase in community-based services, and so may have underestimated the amount of work carried out by the health service….

“‘[However], a review of a much wider range of data than was previously available suggests substantial improvements in the quality of health care’, he argues…

“He cites as evidence falling mortality rates, greater compliance with clinical guidelines, and improving public satisfaction.

“Prof Black acknowledges “some uncertainty” surrounding these data, but he concludes that even a modest improvement in the overall figure, of 0.5 per cent a year, would mean that productivity rose over the decade rather than fell.”

This would tie into international evidence that socialised medicine brings down healthcare costs for the economy as a whole. As Left Foot Forward reported in May 2011:

“There is evidence to suggest that choice and competition in healthcare will, in fact, increase the UK’s spending on health. Take this chart from Kaiser Permanente, who provide healthcare in the United States, on health spends in developed countries:

“In fact, the United Kingdom, with its comparitively statist system, keeps costs down. Why might this be? It may be that in systems based on competition and choice, the lack of expertise on behalf of consumers means that providers can overcharge or charge for treatments which, in all honesty, probably do not have that much chance of working.

“That the government are proposing a two-step choice – consumers choose thier GPs, who in turn help choose the treatment – may help with this; but then again, the consumer will always be at some information disadvantage.

“How an information disadvantage can work in practice can be seen in the energy market, where the regulator OfGem has criticised providers for offering bamboozling products that means time-pressed consumers can’t make an informed choice, therby pushing up prices.”

When evidence confirms theory, it’s time that  the Westminster conventional wisdom on the ‘inefficient NHS’ caught up.

See also:

• ConHome: Neuter the health bill – Daniel Elton, February 9th 2011

• The Financial Times comes out against the NHS bill – Alex Hern, February 9th 2012

• Ten reasons peers should vote against Lansley’s anti-NHS bill – Shamik Das, October 12th 2011

• Miliband goes on attack as fight to save the NHS stepped up – Shamik Das, February 6th 2012

• Sign my petition to drop Lansley’s monster – Dr Kailash Chand OBE, November 24th 2011

33 Responses to “NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs”

  1. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs http://t.co/BSr1BUiY

  2. That Oliver James

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  3. Ken Rice

    RT @leftfootfwd: NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs http://t.co/c99Hf4P9

  4. Jake

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  5. Skipton & Ripon CLP

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  6. w.m o'mara

    NHS productivity gain just the latest evidence socialised medicine brings down costs http://t.co/D7ofBnCI Cameron's stats flawed…..again!

  7. Dan Smith

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  8. .:.

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  9. Steve Preston

    RT @leftfootfwd: NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs http://t.co/9adNm9xA

  10. bob woods

    More evidence of how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare: http://t.co/vxTHd4Is by @danielelton #savetheNHS #DropTheBill

  11. Wendy Hibbs

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  12. Shamik Das

    More evidence of how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare: http://t.co/vxTHd4Is by @danielelton #savetheNHS #DropTheBill

  13. TheCreativeCrip

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  14. MrHuish

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  15. BevR

    More evidence of how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare: http://t.co/vxTHd4Is by @danielelton #savetheNHS #DropTheBill

  16. KEVIN COCHRANE

    More evidence of how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare: http://t.co/vxTHd4Is by @danielelton #savetheNHS #DropTheBill

  17. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine… http://t.co/QV6PdEYe

  18. Pulp Ark

    NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised… http://t.co/jFI7YOmf #Public_Services_for_All #muslim #tcot #sioa

  19. BevR

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  20. Blarg1987

    It is interestig that the paper work increased around the time that productivity fell, due to all parties claiming more accountability and the explosion of no win no fee meaning front line staff of all public services have to cover themselves by doing more paperwork or being the scape ghoat should it all fail.

    Interesting that as part of the bill they are getting ride of alot of the accountability and say they can only get ride of it through everythign else rather then doing that first and see how productivity is likely to improve.

  21. Bankrupt Banks

    RT @leftfootfwd: NHS productivity gain, the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs http://t.co/KQaIe27e

  22. Alex Smith

    More evidence of how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare: http://t.co/vxTHd4Is by @danielelton #savetheNHS #DropTheBill

  23. mary sweeney

    More evidence of how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare: http://t.co/vxTHd4Is by @danielelton #savetheNHS #DropTheBill

  24. Michael Lee Rawlings

    NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine …: “Prof Nick Black from the depart… http://t.co/DtFamLif

  25. Harry Cook

    #NHS I like this graph. Switzerland has one of the most heavily privatized health systems in Europe. Funny that.
    http://t.co/IIgYI5tT

  26. Nick Beddow

    More evidence of how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare: http://t.co/vxTHd4Is by @danielelton #savetheNHS #DropTheBill

  27. Geoff White

    See more evidence on how socialised medicine provides more efficient healthcare:http://t.co/vxTHd4Is: writes @danielelton #savetheNHS

  28. H. O.

    RT @leftfootfwd: NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs http://t.co/DrSpsKZ5

  29. Mr Dobbs

    #nhs http://t.co/GP9iIO6O socialised health care brings down costs. #occupylsx

  30. Blackford Middleton

    NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs http://t.co/TbN13aHf via @zite

  31. Tanveer Bokhari

    NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs http://t.co/TbN13aHf via @zite

  32. Michael Brown

    RT @leftfootfwd: NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costs http://t.co/ulZL3bOb

  33. Look Left – The fight for the soul of the NHS goes on | Left Foot Forward

    […] to “put this increasingly confused legislation out of its misery”; and read Daniel Elton’s report on how productivity gain in the NHS is more evidence of socialised evidence bringing down […]

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