ERA Commentary on: Next Steps on the NHS 5 Year Forward View

The 5-year plan was set out in 2014 and predicted that by 2020, the NHS would face an annual shortfall in funding of £30bn, because of a mismatch between patient needs and available resources.

The government said it would make an extra £8.4bn available a year by 2020, leaving the NHS to make £22bn a year in efficiency savings.

The NHS has set out plans to save £7bn through wage curbs and administration cuts, £9bn in hospital savings – such as cheaper contracts for medical supplies – and £6bn by treating patients outside hospitals and closer to home. Looking into the detail of last week’s commentary to the House of Commons by Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, it is clear that he is not going to go cap in hand for more funds again. Rather he sets out in a new document “Next Steps on the NHS 5 Year Forward View” – his vision for how the NHS will adapt in the coming years.

Here we take a look into the chapter – ‘Funding and Efficiency‘ to see if there are areas where the skills and expertise within Expense Reduction Analysts can help the NHS CEO to achieve his targets, outlined in his 10 point Efficiency Plan.

There are still substantial opportunities to cut waste and increase efficiency in the NHS, just as there are in every other country’s health care system, states the report.

Here we examine 3 points from the report where ERA expertise can be brought in to help drive savings and improve value.

1. Further clamp down on temporary staffing costs and improve productivity
“Great progress has been made over the past year in cutting around £700 million from trusts’ bills for agency staff, from £3.7 billion in 2015/16 to around £3 billion in 2016/17. But around £1 billion is still being spent on agency and locum doctors.”Expense Reduction Analysts can provide support and market knowledge to clients who wish to properly review and optimise their activities in these areas, often identifying service levels required and the right commercial terms on which to engage the best supplier. Clients gain from truly independent advice and sector benchmarking to give them confidence that their most important asset is receiving a truly great Payroll & HR Service.

2. Use the NHS’ procurement clout
“As part of the ‘Carter’ programme, NHS Improvement will standardise and improve trust procurement to release £350 million of savings in 2017/18 on a baseline of over £8 billion of annual expenditure on supplies and devices.”ERA help organisations unblock the true potential of Procurement by embedding best practice principles into the day-to-day activities of company executives and their staff. Areas of particular focus being 3rd Party relationships, governance, internal processes and systems.

3. Get best value out of medicines and pharmacy
“The NHS spends around £16 billion a year on drugs, of which about £9 billion arises from GP prescribing and £7 billion from hospital treatment. The NHS drugs bill grew by over 7% last year, with particular growth in hospital-driven prescribing.”Expense Reduction Analysts’ extensive market knowledge of Medical Consumables and Services which, together with the teams experience of Clinical Risk Management and Clinical Governance, allows ERA to achieve excellent clinical engagement with stakeholders with a deep understanding of end user requirements. Client recommendations not only consider price but also take account of clinical evidence and best practice, to help drive down costs.

“So, the NHS needs to adapt to take advantage of the opportunities that science and technology offer patients, carers and those who serve them. But it also needs to evolve to meet new challenges: we live longer, with complex health issues, sometimes of our own making. Decisions on these options will inevitably need to be taken in the context of how the UK economy overall is performing.”

To survive the NHS needs to adapt and learn. To be sustainable it needs to incorporate best practice procurement. Expense Reduction Analysts provide the expertise and support to find ways to make the efficiency savings that will help secure the NHS for future generations.


NHS: 5 year Forward View

BBC Article

Article by: Glenn Kenworthy