NHS could save £5 billion a year, report suggests

Lord Carter’s report comes after spending a year working with 22 hospitals examining ways to improve efficiency and spread best practise. The report outlines that in order to meet plans for a 7-day NHS service, hospitals must optimise the use of medicines, better manage staff, rotas and shifts, improve the organisation of annual leave and sickness absence, and become better at procurement.

The report found that one hospital could save up to £750,000 a year through improvements to staff rosters, annual leave and flexible working and save money being lost through staff claiming too much annual leave. Additionally, Lord Carter found that another hospital saved £230,000 by improving the way it tracks products and making sure it gets the best price for medicines.

One of the most significant savings highlighted in the report was hip operations, which are costing some parts of the NHS double what they should. The hips being used don’t last as long as others available, which leads patients to require more follow up care and replacements. The report suggests that changes to hip operations could save the NHS up to £17 million a year.

Lord Carter said: “The NHS has some of the best hospitals in the world both in terms of quality, innovation and operational efficiency. The challenge is to lift hospital efficiency to a consistently high standard in every area of every NHS hospital and, where we already perform well, innovate to improve further. I do not think there is one single action we can take but I do believe there are significant benefits to be gained by helping hospitals, using comparative data, to become more productive.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “I’m determined hospitals should focus their resources on patient care by helping them ensure they aren’t paying over the odds for basic items. The NHS has huge purchasing power as the world’s single biggest buyer of healthcare products, so we should be driving for the best-value deals every time.

“Nothing better embodies our belief in ‘one nation’ than the NHS, so I want to see a 7-day health service that delivers for working people. That means cutting out the waste and making sure every penny counts so that the quality of care continues to improve.”

Read the report

Event Diary

Facilities Show brings together over 12,000 facilities management professionals from around the world to source cost-effective solutions across all sectors.