The NHS overall expenditure has increased dramatically since the early 1990s with a much lower growth for medicines expenditure. Inflation explains some of the increase, but the NHS has also invested in more staff (with additional costs for increased salaries and pensions), as well as investment in equipment and buildings and improved access to services.
Nevertheless, productivity (the ratio of inputs to outputs as measured by the Office for National Statistics) was 0.4% per year on average between 1995 and 2010.
Figure 1 – Total NHS and medicines expenditure in the UK, 2002–2011
Figure 2 – NHS and medicines expenditure per person in the UK, 2002–2011