Productivity in UK healthcare during and after the Covid-19 pandemic

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Pub. Date
30 December, 2021

The output of healthcare fell sharply in the UK in mid-2020, despite the immense pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to a bigger decline in UK GDP than many similar economies. This was partly because of the method used to measure health output, but partly because there was little spare capacity in the NHS, so non-Covid treatments fell more sharply than elsewhere.  

We explain the measurement methods applied to public services that produced the published decline, in the context of the inherent difficulties of defining and measuring health output and productivity; and describe the changes in practice that had to take place in NHS hospitals.