2017 Pre-Budget Briefing: Health

Date Posted: Wednesday 1st November 2017

Our series of briefings on the gender impact of policy in 12 distinct areas ahead of the Autumn Budget 2017.



You can read our full Pre-Budget Briefing on Health here.


Key points:

• Over the last decade health services have seen some of the lowest spending increases in their history. NHS providers have moved from a £2bn surplus in 2010 to a reported £2.5bn deficit in 2015/16.

• The Conservative Party has promised real term increases in NHS spending reaching £8bn per year by 2022/23. This represents a rate of increase of an average of 1.2% a year between 2017/18 and 2020/21.

• By contrast, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) projects funding pressures on the service to increase by more than 4% a year above inflation.

• Women bear the brunt of these impacts, as they account for the majority of patients and staff in the NHS and the majority of unpaid carers. In 2015/16, women accounted for 55% of hospital admissions.

• 77% of the NHS workforce are female, accounting for 43% of doctors and 88.6% of registered nurses.

• NHS staff have been under a 1% public sector pay cap since 2010, which has led to a decline in real wages of around 14%. In 2017, for the first time on record, more nurses were leaving than joining the profession, with the resultant shortfall impacting on patient care and outcomes.


You can read our full Pre-Budget Briefing on Health here.