The chief executive of NHS England plans to publish a ‘five year forward view’ of the NHS in October that will set out the consequences of continued curbs on healthcare funding.

Around 15 workstreams have been identified to contribute to what is expected to be a pivotal document, HSJ understands.

Simon Stevens is expected to use it to set out a strategy for the NHS and for the health of the public.

The work is being coordinated by Jo Lenaghan, director of strategy and workforce planning at Health Education England, who is on secondment to NHS England three days a week.

Mr Stevens told a board meeting last month that the work would set out the “prospects and options for the NHS”.

Sources said the work was expected to make clear what could happen if demand for healthcare continued to grow while NHS funding stayed static in real terms.

No major political party has yet pledged to significantly increase NHS funding after next year’s general election.

The “forward view” is expected to be much broader than the work on NHS England’s strategy that was carried out last year.

The workstreams are understood to be examining the role of taxation in incentivising healthy behaviour, the potential for longer term financial settlements for the NHS, and the contribution of government departments other than health.

Other areas being looked at include population change and demand, learning from international examples, the NHS contribution to the economy, and the role of employers, carers and

The plan is also expected to research models for providing care; how different types of area could pursue different routes to sustainable services; and the future of specialised services commissioning.

Nuffield Trust chief executive Nigel Edwards, asked to comment on the work, said: “It is a very ambitious programme to link together a number of disparate strands of thinking.

“It does represent a bit of a step up in terms of ambition of scope and willingness to consider different solutions to problems in different areas.

“It forms part of the debate about what the future of the NHS looks like and in particular what the implications are for funding.

“It is part of a growing debate that will make it harder for politicians to duck those questions, which they would probably like to do.”