Welcome to the Healthcare Industry Barometer 2014.
We started our annual healthcare survey back in 2008 with the aim of tracking the views over time of independent providers, investors, advisers and healthcare professionals on the key issues facing the health and social care sectors. Back in 2008, the UK health landscape included the Darzi Review, discussions on increased competition and choice in the market, the need to integrate health and social care markets and long term trends to home based solutions. There was a health budget shortfall estimated at £8-10 billion.
In some ways, a lot has changed over these last six years. We have had major radical healthcare reform in the shape of the Health & Social Care Act 2012 and the Care Act 2014. We have witnessed a significant increase in investment from overseas in the sector, principally through real estate backed portfolio asset transactions. We are enjoying the results of the relatively fast pace of medical advances and the growing international pharma and medical technology markets.
Plenty, however, has not changed. The fundamentals remain the same. We have a continually ageing population, with better health outcomes and a longer life expectancy. We have a greater burden of disease and disability, including mental health and elderly care issues. People continue to demand a greater say in decisions about their care and have higher expectations. As lifestyles and behaviours change, we have seen risk factors such as the effect of cigarette smoking reduce, only to be replaced with others such as obesity and alcohol. Most importantly we have had throughout the period of this annual survey, a significant and potentially crippling NHS budget deficit.
Most would agree that there is a need for significant change in the delivery of health and social care to meet our future requirements through greater innovation, service integration and improved commissioning. What is striking from our Barometer is the independent sector’s views on how it has been able to contribute to these changes working with the NHS since 2010 when there was overwhelming confidence in the Coalition. Over time, confidence has diminished in the government’s ability to accelerate the expansion of the private sector in the NHS. This year 46% of respondents reported a significant slowdown in such involvement. 59% of respondents believe CCGs have not resulted in a more plural and competitive market – a far cry from the sector’s early optimism.
With all this, we at Nabarro continue to see significant interest and investment in the sector from the UK and overseas. We have found it fascinating to see how opinions have developed over these past few years and how views have changed. We hope you find the Healthcare Industry Barometer 2014 to be a useful measure of current opinion in the market. We would like to thank HealthInvestor for organising the survey, all respondents for their contributions, and you for taking the time to read it and working with us in this exciting sector.
Partner, Nabarro LLP
Partner, Nabarro LLP