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Mimicking best PCTs could save millions

6th August 2009

A survey of primary care trusts has revealed the potential to enable the NHS to make savings of up to 20%.

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Analysis by HSJ suggested that if all PCTs spent as efficiently as the best, the major improvement in financial performance could be achieved.

The Department of Health “programme budget” has revealed how £93bn of NHS funds was spent in 2007-08.

Closer analysis revealed that if success in tackling heart disease was measured in terms of the biggest relative decrease in premature deaths, Hartlepool PCT would be the best achiever.

It reduced deaths among people under 65 by 56% from 2000 to 2007, yet the £2,688 it spent per heart disease patient was 24% lower than the national average.

HSJ claimed that if each of the bigger spenders matched Hartlepool’s performance, the NHS would save 20% of the heart disease budget, or £1.2bn.

With tighter spending within the NHS, chief knowledge officer and public health consultant Sir Muir Gray said it was important to make better use of data to establish where funds were being spent.

“As the going gets tougher we need to identify what’s high value and make sure that is delivered everywhere, and then the local population can decide to deliver things which are lower value,” he said.

However, Brent - the PCT with the biggest relative fall in mortality for respiratory diseases - spent £7,293 per patient, or 59% above the national average.

The Department of Health said it was important the NHS concentrated spending on those who needed it most locally.

 

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