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Five years on: some positives, some negatives

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A King’s Fund commissioned report, Our future health secured? A review of NHS funding and performance,1 published in September this year, is, as its title succinctly suggests, a timely retrospective review of National Health Service spending and performance since 2002, the year the Treasury published a Gordon Brown commissioned review of health care funding needs for the next 20 years.2 Sir Derek Wanless, a career banker, led both reviews.

The first one said that a huge increase in NHS spending demanded parallel and radical reforms to tackle problems of “excessive waiting times, poor access to services, and poor quality of care and outcomes”. The second review answers questions about the amount of money invested in recent years, where it went, what it achieved, whether it was spent wisely and what lessons can be learnt. It is 320 pages long, as comprehensive as it can be …

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