Productivity of the English NHS: 2012/13 update

Posted on 27 March 2015

CHE's latest Research Paper 110 written by Chris Bojke, Adriana Castelli, Katja Grasic and Andrew Sreet

Productivity is one of the key measures against which NHS achievements can be judged and is the focus of this report. NHS productivity growth is measured as the rate of change in outputs over the rate of change of inputs. Positive productivity growth occurs when the relative growth in outputs exceeds the relative growth in inputs.

Output growth amounted to 2.34% between 2011/12 and 2012/13, this being the lowest year-on-year growth rate over the full period since 2004/05. This is the first time over the full series in which quality-adjusted output growth has been lower than cost-weighted growth, which amounted to 2.58%. This is because some aspects of quality deteriorated between 2011/12 and 2012/13, with a reduction in survival rates for non-elective patients and further increases in waiting times.

NHS input growth between 2011/12 and 2012/13 was 1.98%. This rate of input growth is relatively low for the series as a whole but it is the largest year-on-year increase since 2009/10.

Productivity growth between 2011/12 and 2012/13 is estimated to have been 0.36%. The NHS has delivered overall total factor productivity growth of 10.4% since 2004/05, with 2011/12-2012/13 being the third consecutive period of year-on-year productivity growth.

Full report: CHE Research Paper 110 (PDF , 2,412kb)

Street ANot as it seems: Productivity growth isn't always a good thing. Health Service Journal 9 April 2015.

Other papers in the CHE Research paper series can be found at: In house publications