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Friday 28th October 2016

Higher health spending in Scotland 'no benefit'

10th June 2010

Higher health spending in Scotland has been questioned by a prominent think tank.

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The Centre for Public Policy has raised the issue of whether higher health spending in Scotland compared with England has made any difference.

It says it has been hard to measure the effect of the extra spending of some £200 per head more in Scotland than in England.

Issues of population spread and poverty have been given as reasons for the extra cash but in terms of life expectancy, the think tank said there was a "mysterious Scottish effect" which went beyond deprivation that made Scots sicker and more likely to die early.

John McLaren of the CPPR said: "Our research has shown that while health spending and staffing levels per head in Scotland appear to be greater than in England, we are not experiencing the improved health outcomes that might have been hoped would have followed.

"This could be due to worsening needs in Scotland relative to England, for example due to differing behavioural patterns, but at present it is difficult to convert any such higher needs into extra costs."

Figures show that over the past 10 years, health spending in Scotland has doubled and staffing levels were 30% higher than in England, according to the work by CPPR and auditors KPMG.

Jenny Stewart, head of public sector for KPMG in Scotland, said: "We are now spending just short of £2,000 per head per year on the NHS in Scotland - some £212 to £267 per head more than in England.”


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