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Purpose: In this chapter, we examine the National Health Service (NHS) and Adult Social Care (ASC) in England, focussing on policies that have been introduced since 2000 and considering the challenges that providers face in their quest to provide a high standard and affordable health service in the near future. Methodology/Approach: We discuss recent policy developments and published analysis covering innovations within major aspects of health care (primary, secondary and tertiary) and ASC, before considering future challenges faced by providers in England, highlighted by a 2017 UK Parliament Select Committee. Findings: The NHS and ASC system have experienced tightening budgets and serious financial pressure, with historically low real-terms growth in health funding from central government and local authorities. Policymakers have tried to overcome these challenges with several policy innovations, but many still remain. With large-scale investment and reform, there is potential for the health and social care system to evolve into a modern service capable of dealing with the needs of an ageing population. However, if these challenges are not met, then it is set to continue struggling with a lack of appropriate facilities, an overstretched staff and a system not entirely appropriate for its patients.



Book title

The Sustainability of Health Care Systems in Europe


Emerald Group Publishing

Publication Date





Business & Economics