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Health Minister responds to Nuffield Trust report

Responding to the Nuffield Trust report, Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the NHS is facing a number of challenges:

The report also recognises further potential for additional long-term savings, which the NHS can make if it continues to reform and reshape services.

The Finance Minister and I will now work together over the summer to determine what more we can do to support new models of service delivery that strengthen the care and support provided in local communities, and respond to the challenges identified in this report”

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

NHS would have to make improvements at 'record rate'

The Nuffield Trust report says if the NHS does not receive additional funding, it would have to improve productivity at a record rate and sustain it for a period of time in order to close the financial gap of £2.5bn by 2025/26.

This would have to be at a rate not seen in the history of the NHS or other countries' health systems.

Adam Roberts, lead author and Senior Analyst at the Nuffield Trust said:

“Our analysis reveals, for the first time, the scale of the task ahead regarding the Welsh NHS’s finances.

"Money for the service is already tight – NHS funding is likely to be 3.6% lower in real terms at the end of the next financial year than it was in 2010/11 – but the big unknown is what will happen after the 2015 spending review.

The pressures facing the NHS in Wales outlined in the report include:

  • Population growth
  • Longer life expectancy
  • Rising number of prescriptions
  • Staff wages

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Welsh NHS could face funding gap of £2.5bn by 2025/26

Pressures on the NHS in Wales mean it could face a funding gap of £2.5bn by 2025/26, according to a report by the Nuffield Trust think tank.

The report said pressure will be greater in areas with the fastest growth in people over the age of 65

The research suggests the shortfall - the result of 'rising costs' and 'tight' public finances - would occur if funding only rises in line with inflation after 2015/16.