Andrew Lansley is wrong – the NHS is not unaffordable, a leading health economist has said.

John Appleby, chief economist at the King's Fund, said the Health Secretary's argument that reform is essential if the NHS is to survive financially is based on a flawed analysis.

"Spending on health will be a matter of choice not affordability," he said.

Responding to Mr Lansley's claim that on current trends health spending will double in real terms in the next 20 years to £230bn, Professor Appleby said this was equivalent to an annual growth rate of just 4 per cent.