A Sky News article claimed that 55% of all NHS spending went on people 85+:
An independent fact-checking charity decided to research this claim.
Sky News told them it calculated the figures based on data published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), but the IFS told us they don’t recognise these figures. They have asked Sky for more information.
Other figures the charity has seen from the IFS suggest that the proportion of health spending across the UK (rather than just the NHS budget) which goes to those aged 85 and over is likely to be around 10% by 2021/22.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) told them it wasn’t familiar with the figures used by Sky News, but did provide them with other information.
When compared to a 30 year-old, spending across the UK on health (not just the NHS) for an 85 year-old is projected to be 5.6 times higher in 2021/22, and twice as much for a 65 year-old. That’s taking account of the fact that not all people of those ages will necessarily need to use health care.
But that doesn’t mean that 85 year-olds will require 5.6 times as much of the budget as 30 year-olds, because there are fewer people at that age.
Using population projections for 2021 we can see that those aged 85 and over are projected to make up just 3% of the population of the UK. Those aged between 65 and 84 made up 16% and those aged 30-64 made up 45%.
Based on this, 10% of health spending across the UK would go to those over the age of 85 by 2021/22, 32% would go to those aged 65 to 84 and 35% would go to those between the age of 30 and 64.