Annual NHS savings of up to £5bn could be achieved by 2019/20 according to a new independent Government-commissioned report overseen by Labour peer Lord Carter.
These include a £2bn saving through improved workflows, as well as improvements to hospital pharmacy, estates and procurement, totalling £1bn each.
Entitled ‘Review of Operational Productivity in NHS providers’ (June 2015), the report is based on data drawn from 22 hospitals during a period of 12 months. It reiterates the findings of the Five Year Forward View and the financial challenges faced by the NHS.
The report says that while pay restraint had improved efficiency in recent years, a net saving of 2 to 3 per cent between now and 2020 would be needed in order to maintain “a comprehensive high-quality NHS.”
It goes on to say that “everyone must play their part — from executive boards and managers to nurses and clinicians. No stone should be unturned and nothing sacred or exempt from examination.”
Among the key recommendations of the report is that the NHS should adopt and use the ‘adjusted treatment index’ developed from a cohort of 22 hospitals, which other hospitals could then be compared with.
Lord Carter also suggests increases in staff productivity could be made through a “stronger management grip on non-productive time” including annual leave, sickness absence and training.
The report can be accessed at Review of Operational Productivity in NHS providers