Report: Hospital productivity should be improved

12 January 2012

Hospitals in England must improve productivity if patient care is to remain of a good standard in years to come.

This is according to a report by the Nuffield Trust thinktank which suggested that cutting lengths of stay, providing more day case surgeries and improving the way goods are bought could significantly improve the efficiency of healthcare services.

Furthermore, the report stated that the NHS has to make on average of four per cent savings in its budget each year to meet its target of trimming £20 million off costs by 2015.

Savings could be made in back-of-house activities such as HR and finance, which accounts for around 70 per cent of costs.

Judith Smith, head of policy at the Nuffield Trust, said: "It is very difficult to justify cuts if inefficiencies in areas such as rates of day case surgery, length of stay and the purchasing of hospital supplies remain untackled."

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham recently told the Newcastle Journal that the north-south divide in the health system will widen if proposed changes to the NHS changes come into law.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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