Government spending on the NHS is continuing to fall as a percentage of GDP, an analysis of official figures has revealed.
An analysis of figures from the Office of Budget Responsibility by the Nuffield Trust think-tank reveals that spending is set to go down from 6.5% of GDP in 2012-13 to 6.2% in 2015-16.
In a blog, Anita Charlesworth, chief economist for the Nuffield Trust, said there was a ‘serious chance the NHS will hit the financial buffers before and not after the next election.’
She adds: ‘Even if it limps on, there can be little doubt that the position for 2015-16 is not sustainable.’
The news comes as the proportion of NHS funding spent on general practice continues to fall.
Research published by the RCGP shows that general practice faces a £1.59bn real terms funding cut by 2017 despite predicted patient consultations due to increase by 69 million if current trends continue.
The college also predicts that UK general practice funding is set to reach a record low of 7.29% of the NHS budget by 2017/18, from 8.39% in 2012/13.