By Max Clarke

Between 1995 and 2009 the NHS budget rose increased 292% to £111 billion while productivity dropped slightly by 2.7%, according to the article Public Service Output, Inputs and Productivity: Healthcare, published today by the Office for National Statistics.

Inputs and outputs, including goods, services, labour and drugs to and from the Service nearly doubled. Driving forces behind this increase include a higher average age, an overall improvement in the quality of care, and a trebling of the volume of drugs prescribed by GPs.

Senior analyst at the ONS, Richard Wild, commented: “We found that two-thirds of the rise in inputs took the form of the NHS using more goods and services — things like bedding and bandages, drugs, contracted-out services, and utilities — and one-third of the rise supported the NHS employing more staff, including substantially more doctors and nurses”

Labour accounted for the highest share of expenditure throughout the time range, rising from £23.3 billion to £61.7 billion, though it dropped in proportion of total budget from 61% in 1995, to 55% in 2009.

Other issues affecting healthcare provision discussed in the 53 page article include a 22.5% reduction in smoking across the adult population; while alcohol consumption for males was found to have remained largely constant while female consumption jumped 20%.