UK health services compared

More money per person is spent on health services in Wales than in England, but less than in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The figures comparing the UK's health services come from a National Audit Office report.

Wales' health spending expected to soon be UK lowest

Wales will fall behind the other home nations in terms of spending per person on health services, if government plans progress as outlined over the next three years. There will be an average annual fall in 2.3 percent in cash terms up to 2014-15.

A graph showing health spending per person
Health spending in Wales (red line) is expected to fall below England's by 2015 Credit: National Audit Office

Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Darren Millar AM, said: "This is further evidence of Labour's record-breaking cuts to the Welsh health budget. It is time that the Welsh Government looked again at its budget priorities to ensure the NHS gets the resources it so desperately needs."

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Welsh Government: We invest in NHS

The report clearly shows that Wales spent more than England on health services per head of population. Unlike under the Tories in England, the NHS in Wales will remain founded in Bevan's principles of care provided free at the point of need.The fact is, due to UK Government austerity measures, the Welsh budget is being savagely cut by 12% between 2010/11 and 2014/15. Despite this, we invest 43% of our budget in the NHS.The rate of healthcare associated infections in Wales is lower than in the rest of the UK. However, we're not complacent, and are determined to reduce this further.

– Welsh Government spokesman

Fewer GPs in Wales, compared to England and Scotland

The National Audit Office report provides a vast number of comparisons between health services in the four UK nations, picking out their differences.

A nurse filling in paperwork
Responsibility for health has been devolved since 2009 Credit: ITV News Wales

There were 65 GPs per 100,000 people in Wales in 2009 - fewer than in England and Scotland - although more than in Northern Ireland.

Patients in Wales stay an average of 6.3 days in acute hospital beds, the longest of the four UK nations. It was just 4.3 days in England, in 2008-09.

Life expectancy at birth in Wales is 77.6 years for men and 81.8 years for women. Both of those figures compare favourably to Scotland and Northern Ireland, but are slightly lower than in England.

Health spending higher than in England

More money per person is spent on health services in Wales than across the border in England - but less than in Scotland and Northern Ireland. A National Audit Office report compares healthcare around the UK.

Spending per person on health services, 2010-11:

  • Northern Ireland - £2,106
  • Scotland - £2,072
  • Wales - £2,017
  • England - £1,900