Radical changes are needed in order to secure the future of the NHS, health sector regulator Monitor has warned.
According to a report released by the organisation, the NHS will face a £30 billion funding gap by 2021 if “difficult decisions” are not made.
An “honest and realistic debate” on the challenge is needed, NHS England has said.
Monitor’s report has outlined some opportunities which are available to deliver better care and close the financial gap.
- Improving productivity within existing services
- Delivering the right care in the right settings, including increasing care in the community
- Developing new, innovative ways of delivering care
- Making ‘one-off’ reductions in capital expenditure and staffing costs
- Changing the way health spending is allocated which is currently based on historic demand.
David Bennett, chief executive and chair of Monitor (pictured) said: "Over the next eight years, the health sector faces its greatest financial challenge in recent times. We are all going to have to strain every sinew to meet it.
"While there are individual things the sector can do – like be more efficient in its procurement or introducing new ways of working in hospitals – what is required is a step-change. In short, the NHS must undergo radical change if it is to survive.
"Monitor, as the health sector regulator, will not only be supporting, but actively enabling changes that deliver better services for patients and reduce costs."