Healthcare in Britain – and the National Health Service (NHS) in particular – has been affected by significant shifts in the policy and economic landscapes in recent years. In 2011-2012, as the country grappled with the economic standstill and the Coalition Government's austerity policies started to bite, the NHS began the year with virtually no increase in real funding. After a decade when real spending doubled, the NHS has been allocated little extra funding over and above inflation until April 2015, with the prospect of a continuing freeze for some years beyond that. The productivity task that the NHS has been set in response to this squeeze on its finances is unprecedented. By 2015, a virtually unchanged NHS budget will have to generate an extra 20 per cent more value – the equivalent of around £20 billion of extra funding for the NHS in England alone. Given that there has been little or no improvement in productivity during the past decade and a half, t
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