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York Health Firm Warns NHS Could Go Bust in Ten Years


3:36pm 9th May 2014

The NHS could be bankrupted by the cost of long term illnesses, such as dementia, cancer and obesity, within ten years according to a study by the think tank ResPublica and York-based health firm Benenden Health.

It's study Power to the People: The Mutual Future of our National Health Service predicts a £19 billion funding gap each year between what's needed to pay for care and what will be put in by the government. The study also found the one in four patients in England with a long term health condition account for 70% of all NHS spend, 50% of GP appointments and 64% of hospital outpatient appointments.

Benenden Health is now talking to the government and local officials about trialling a new system in North Yorkshire where NHS funding could be given to not-for-profit health care companies to allow them or organise treatments. The firm hopes an announcement about NHS funding in the Autumn could allow the creation of a trial, which it hopes will be in the county. The firm stresses there would still be no charge for patients and it estimates savings could be £4.5 billion a year across the country.

Marc Bell, Chief Executive, Benenden Health, said: “This report confirms what we, as a mutual healthcare provider, see every day: the NHS is being crippled by the current epidemic of lifestyle diseases and non-essential procedures. The public pays for and deserves a free national health service, but the harsh reality is that this is only now viable if a complementary healthcare provision is put in place that supports the NHS."

“As ResPublica recognises, mutual healthcare providers such as Benenden Health offer this ideal complementary provision, which would help keep the NHS free at the point of entry. The benefits of the report recommendations are significant – they give the Government the Holy Grail: a truly sustainable national health service that does not cost the Government more or involve taxing the public further.”

Phillip Blond, Director, ResPublica said: “Moving away from fragmented and failing public service provision, and towards a system of whole person-care, is the only way to deliver the holistic healthcare patients so desperately need.

“In order to remain free at the point of use, the NHS must begin an integration revolution. To achieve this, and avoid the bureaucracy of state provision and profit seeking of the private sector, the Government should recognise the decisive role that mutualism can play in modernising the NHS. A mutual NHS is far closer to the original vision of Beveridge, it’s time the NHS came home, it’s time the NHS went mutual.”


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