• Between 1997 and 2018, productivity across the UK NHS grew by 22%, at an average of around 0.9% per year.​

  • This is higher than the total productivity of the public sector (0.2%) but lower than that of the whole UK economy (1.2%).​

  • However, since 2010, productivity growth has been higher in the health care sector than the whole economy, growing at an average annual rate of 1.5%, compared to 0.4% in the whole economy.

Productivity in the health care sector refers to the ratio of outputs to inputs (goods, services and capital) used to produce care. Growth in productivity allows for more care to be delivered as less inputs are required for each unit of output. 

Between 1997 and 2018, productivity across the UK NHS grew by 22%, at an average of around 0.9% per year.​ This is higher than the total productivity of the public sector (0.2%) but lower than that of the whole UK economy (1.2%).​ However, since 2010, productivity growth has been higher in the health care sector than the whole economy, growing at an average annual rate of 1.5%, compared to 0.4% in the whole economy.

Further reading

Press release

Health Foundation response to the Health and Social Care Secretary’s speech at the Conservative conference

5 October 2021
Press release

The Health Foundation's response to the Health and Social Care Secretary’s speech at the...

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