Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE – Review of Long -Term Health Trends (Wanless Report) : November 2001

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 27 November 2001.

Derek Wanless today published for consultation “Securing Our Future Health: Taking A Long-Term View”, his interim report on the long-term trends that will affect the health service over the next two decades.

The report is the result of an initial phase of domestic and international consultation that has included a major conference, various workshops and international visits.

Announcing publication of the interim report, Derek Wanless said:

“This is the first time in the history of the NHS that the Government has commissioned a long-term assessment of the resources required to fund the health service.

In this, my interim report to the Chancellor, I have set out what I regard as the key drivers of health need and cost over the next 20 years.  Although I have been able to gather and analyse a large amount of information, I am aware that many other people will have valuable contributions to make. I want to take account of these views and assess the most robust evidence possible before coming to a conclusion about the long-term resource requirements for the health service”.

The interim report presents emerging views about the key factors that drive NHS costs: catching-up to world class standards in the quality of service provided; rising patient and public expectations, particularly of the elderly; technological advance; and the recruitment and retention of an appropriately skilled workforce.

The report concludes that the impact of an ageing population on costs is not as large as is often thought and that there is scope for productivity savings to offset some cost increases. The report also concludes that ?There is no evidence that any alternative financing method to the UK’s would deliver a given quality of health care at a lower cost to the economy. Indeed other systems seem likely to be more costly.?

The report sets out a number of specific questions for consultation.  Mr Wanless said:

“The quality of the health service affects us all, and I would welcome views on this interim report from as many people as possible. I will be holding consultation events in the English regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to hear the views of experts, patient groups, and those working in the health service. I also intend to gather more evidence internationally before compiling my final report in time to inform the 2002 Spending Review”.