NHS efficiency savings may be at expense of service cuts and staff pay, say MPs

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 22 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1914
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Progress so far in making efficiency savings in the NHS in England may have been achieved only by reducing some services for patients and freezing staff pay, MPs have warned.

More substantial long term changes to the way the NHS provides services in a more cost effective and efficient way are far less certain, said a report published by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on 22 March.1

In their report on progress in making NHS efficiency savings, the MPs said that there seemed to be positive movement towards the government’s goal for the NHS to make efficiency savings of £20bn (€23bn; $30bn) in the four years to 2014-15 to allow the NHS to keep pace with growing demand.

During the committee’s inquiry the Department of Health had reported that the NHS made savings of £5.8bn in 2011-12 and that it was …

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