Stronger grip on overheads and increased productivity could save NHS hospitals £5bn a year

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 12 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3228
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1London

A stronger grip on overheads, particularly workforce costs, and increased productivity could save NHS hospitals up to £5bn (€6.8bn; $7.7bn) every year by 2020, finds an interim review of operational efficiency in the health service in England, published on Thursday 11 June.1

The review was carried out by the life peer Patrick Carter, chair of the NHS Procurement and Efficiency Board, at the behest of the health secretary for England, Jeremy Hunt.2 The review’s findings were based on the detailed spending of 22 hospital trusts in England, selected to represent the range and geography of secondary care organisations across the country.

The review concluded that there was ample scope for substantial savings to be made in four key areas—workforce; hospital pharmacy and medicines; estates management; and procurement—which could help the NHS reach its target of saving £22bn by 2020.

Workforce was a …

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