Eliminating variations in care 'can unlock savings for NHS'

Medical Government/ NHS related news

A new government-backed review has highlighted the substantial NHS savings that could be unlocked by reducing regional variations in care quality.

Lord Carter is carrying out a review into how savings can be made by the NHS to help hospital chiefs make their facilities safer and more efficient at the same time. To do this, all activity carried out by NHS hospitals has been reviewed and analysed by clinical speciality.

“Hospitals can save around five billion pounds by reducing variation in care and improving the way they look after patients, according to a new study.“

Significant inconsistencies in clinical costs, infection rates, readmission rates, litigation payments and device and procedure selection have been revealed, with up to five billion pounds in savings estimated to be possible.

General medicine was named as the field in which the greatest savings can be unlocked, followed by obstetrics and gynaecology, trauma and orthopaedics, pathology and cancer services.

Following this analysis, 137 NHS acute hospital trusts in England have been given detailed plans to help them identify where they can improve patient care and become more efficient.

Lord Carter said: "The route to better care is to empower NHS leaders, so giving them the data and support they need means they can improve how they care for patients make savings which can be reinvested in frontline care."

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