NHS wastes £2bn a year25th October 2006
The NHS could save more than £2 billion each year by cutting waste and avoiding unnecessary clinical interventions, according to a new government report.
The report looked at the way trusts in England dealt with emergency admissions and how long patients stayed in hospital, as well as operations that weren't needed.
Now the Department of Health will send out a range of indicators to trusts aimed at allowing them to measure their spending with other trusts, as well as providing details of how they can cut waste and save money.
The government has outlined some of the areas where savings could be made:
- £510m by reducing the number of people admitted the day before their operation – some trusts admit up to 60 per cent of patients the day before their surgery
- £348m in avoidable emergency admissions for conditions like angina and asthma
- £16m by cutting hospital stays and carrying out more procedures as day-only cases instead
- £73m by reducing the number of unnecessary surgical procedures
- £975m by improving the discharge process
- £278m by reducing variation on the number of outpatient referrals.
One example given was Plymouth Teaching Primary Care Trust, which could save almost £2.5m by using cheaper statins to treat high cholesterol and reduce unnecessary emergency admissions for a range of chronic conditions.
Less agency staff and efforts to cut staff sickness rates would also save money, the government said.
The government denied they were asking NHS trusts to cut corners, but instead make the most out of every penny of taxpayers’ money, by working smarter and delivering better care.
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