Productivity gains could cause future problems, King's Fund warns

NHS productivity will increase over the next two years as funding is squeezed, but this could lead to problems further down the line, the King's Fund has warned.

Talking at an event on NHS productivity, Professor John Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund, said productivity in the NHS will automatically increase once the ‘money tap is turned off’.

But he added: ‘The trouble is, it is a bit like an orchestra when you take the conductor away: it will carry on playing for some time, but it gradually goes out of tune. And I think actually after a couple of years we will see problems in the NHS.’

It comes as health minister Lord Howe said he was not 'losing sleep' over the reforms, because he believes that the government is allowing sufficient time to embed the reforms.

Lord Howe also said he was not worried about the level of enthusiasm about the reforms from GPs. ‘There are some GPs who are yet to be convinced, but what we have typically seen in many of these consortia is a lot of sceptics among the GPs being won around by their peers and suddenly seeing what the scope for improvement is,' he said. 'So I’m not worried about that.’

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