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Productivity in the NHS on decline

NHS productivity has failed to keep pace with the vast increase in investment by the Government, research has concluded.

A study by the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York found that between 1999 and 2005 emergency readmissions had risen, drug spending was up 40 per cent and 2,000 acute beds had been lost. In the same period, NHS spending more than doubled to £85 billion.

The study – Value for Money in the English NHS: Summary of Evidence – found while there was 'considerable evidence of growth both in the volume and quality of NHS activity, this has not kept pace with the growth in expenditure....on most measures, NHS productivity is either static or declining'.

Pay rises for GPs and other NHS staff were not found to be a factor.

Dr Derek Hopper, a GP in Grimsby, said GPs had become more productive since the QOF: 'The fact the average point score is so high and keeps rising is proof of our extra hard work.'

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