Intended for healthcare professionals


UK doctors could save £2bn a year by cutting waste, says report

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 07 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6692
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The UK health services could save nearly £2bn (€2.6bn; $3.2bn) a year if doctors provided more appropriate care in 16 areas of clinical practice, a new report from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has claimed.1

The report calls for a cultural shift so that healthcare workers ask whether every treatment or procedure is really necessary and genuinely improves the quality of a patient’s life or their prospects for recovery. It identifies areas of waste such as the overuse of drugs, overuse of diagnostic or monitoring tests, and unplanned admissions.

The report says that prescribing costs could be reduced by using off-patent treatments whenever possible. For example, …

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