Views And Reviews Provocations

The NHS can fly the flag in post-Brexit Britain

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1685 (Published 17 April 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1685
  1. Mark Britnell, global chairman and senior partner, healthcare, government, and infrastructure
  1. KPMG International
  1. Mark.Britnell{at}KPMG.co.uk

Raising productivity in the NHS will spur economic growth

The prime minister’s promise of a long term funding settlement to celebrate the NHS’s 70th anniversary should be cautiously welcomed.1 While we don’t know the amounts, we do know that Theresa May wants “a plan which allows the NHS to realise greater productivity.”

NHS staff should welcome rather than fear a productivity drive, because it is about working smarter rather than harder, freeing clinicians to increase their impact on patient care. We should not confuse productivity gains with efficiencies or cost reductions, the pursuit of which many people believe have knocked the NHS to its knees. Productivity deals with output, whereas efficiency looks at costs.

We need to hold the government to its commitment to raise productivity, because this should herald substantial investment in training and skills, innovation, technological advances, infrastructure, enhanced or disruptive care models, and better …

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