Staff praised as NHS productivity rises

The productivity of the NHS has improved almost two and a half times as fast than the wider economy over the last 12 years.

According to the University of York’s Centre for Health Economics, hard-working NHS staff provided 16.5 per cent more care pound for pound in 2016/17 than they did in 2004/05, compared to productivity growth of only 6.7 per cent in the economy as a whole.

The study revealed NHS outputs have continuously increased since they began measuring a dozen years earlier, meaning more care and treatments for patients and better value for taxpayers.

Last year the NHS delivered over £6 billion of quality and cost improvements. This is in part due to action taken by NHS England and NHS Improvement in recent years to improve efficiency, including the introduction of a cost-per-hour cap on agency staff from November 2015 and curbing prescribing of medicines that have little or no benefit that will over time help save up to £200 million a year.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “This independent research confirms that NHS productivity has been growing at more than double that achieved by the rest of the UK economy including the private sector. This is a huge tribute to the work of NHS staff, and the intrinsic efficiency of this country’s health service. It represents further welcome proof that taxpayers’ investment in our health services is money well spent.”

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