Health and social care: What do we spend?

Published: 25th May 2018

In brief

Claim

We’re spending record levels on our NHS—£149 billion a year.

Conclusion

That’s how much public spending on health across the UK came to in 2016/17. Most, but not all of this money goes to the NHS.

 

We spend £22 billion on social care.

 

Roughly correct looking at public spending on adult social care across the UK in 2016/17. Around £10 billion was spent on children’s social care.

Claim 1 of 2

“We’re spending record levels on our NHS: £149 billion a year. £22 billion on social care.”

Anna Soubry, 24 May 2018  

It’s correct that public spending on health across the UK was £149 billion in 2016/17—that’s in today’s prices. Spending on health is at record levels and has increased in most years since 1950.

Health is a devolved area so the UK government is only directly responsible for exactly how money is spent on this in England. The health budget was around £125 billion in England in 2017/18.

Not all of this money is spent on the NHS. For example, some is spent by on things like public health initiatives, education, training and infrastructure. NHS England funding and overall health funding is projected to increase in the coming years, though the amount not spent on the NHS is projected to be lower in 2020/21 than it is now. This includes money announced in the most recent Budget.

Based on current plans, spending per person on health in England is set to increase each year until 2019/20, but in 2020/21 it will fall by 0.01%, according to health experts.

In today’s prices, public spending on adult social care in the UK was £21 billion and £10 billion was spent on children’s social care, in 2016/17.

Public spending on adult social care fell from 2009/10 to 2016/17 by around 10%. We’ve written more about where that money comes from here.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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