While the NHS ranks as the best value healthcare system in the world, we know more could be done to improve quality and efficiency in our hospitals.
In 2016, the Government published Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations, a report by Lord Carter.
The report found unwarranted variation in running costs, sickness absence, infection rates and prices paid for supplies and services, all of which impacted on the quality of care and cost the NHS billions each year.
As part of the review, a ‘model hospital’ was developed to advise NHS trusts on the most efficient allocation of resources and allows hospitals to measure performance against other trusts.
Our Partnership is adapting the recommendations from the report and seeking to apply them in acute hospitals across Cheshire and Merseyside.
Trusts spend more than half of their budgets on staffing. Just a 1% improvement in staff productivity will save the NHS millions each year, which equates to hospitals using new working methods that would save every member of staff five minutes on an efght hour shift.
We are also looking at improvements in the way the NHS deploys its staff, ending the use of outdated and inefficient paper rosters.
In addition, we will be looking at more efficient methods of buying services and equipment to help keep down costs, making efficient use of floor space, and seeing where hospitals can work together to bring down administration costs and share services and resources.
The lead for this programme is Tony Chambers, Chief Executive of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust.