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Productivity of the English National Health Service 2003-4 to 2009-10


  • Chris Bojke

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)

  • Adriana Castelli

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)

  • Rosalind Goudie

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)

  • Andrew Street

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)

  • Padraic Ward

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)


A new research study reveals that the productivity of the NHS in England has been broadly constant over the last seven years, increasing by an average of 0.1 per cent per year. The most detailed and comprehensive information available was used to compare growth in the total amount of resources (input) used to produce health care provided to NHS patients (output). The research shows that between 2003/4 to 2009/10 the number of staff has increased by 18 per cent, buildings and equipment by 24 per cent and all other inputs, such as clinical supplies and energy costs, by 76 per cent. There has also been a corresponding increase in both the quantity and quality of output. The number of patients treated in hospital increased from 12.1m to 15.6m; outpatient attendances from 50m to 77m; community care contacts from 76m to 92m; and primary care consultations from 262m to 300m. Over the same period, hospital survival rates improved from 99.4 per cent to 99.8 per cent for elective patients and from 95 per cent to 96 per cent for non-electives. Average inpatient waiting times fell from 78 to 57 days, reaching a low of 51 days in 2008/9. Outpatient waiting times fell from 58 days to 24 days. All in all, growth in activity and changes in quality have tracked the growth in inputs, implying that productivity has been flat over the seven year period.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Bojke & Adriana Castelli & Rosalind Goudie & Andrew Street & Padraic Ward, 2012. "Productivity of the English National Health Service 2003-4 to 2009-10," Working Papers 076cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:chy:respap:76cherp

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Castelli, Adriana & Laudicella, Mauro & Street, Andrew & Ward, Padraic, 2011. "Getting out what we put in: productivity of the English National Health Service," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 313-335, June.
    2. Mary O'Mahony & Lucy Stokes, 2005. "Developing new approaches to measuring NHS outputs and productivity," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 264, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    3. Adriana Castelli & Mauro Laudicella & Andrew Street, 2008. "Measuring NHS Output Growth," Working Papers 043cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chris Bojke & Adriana Castelli & Katja Grasic & Daniel Howdon & Andrew Street, 2016. "Productivity of the English NHS: 2013/14 update," Working Papers 126cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.

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