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17
Oct

Can NHS hospitals do more with less?


As the NHS attempts to secure unprecedented productivity gains, new research based on UK and international experience suggests how hospitals can improve efficiency.

As the NHS attempts to secure unprecedented productivity gains, new research based on UK and international experience suggests how hospitals can improve efficiency.

The NHS is facing a period of financial constraint, with providers charged with delivering 4% efficiency savings per year up until 2015. While this can be seen as an opportunity to stimulate NHS providers to think differently about how they work to deliver services and to extract the necessary efficiencies, the scale of the challenge is unprecedented.

Against this backdrop, the Nuffield Trust commissioned a study into the factors known toimpact on hospital efficiency. The resulting report, Can NHS hospitals do more with less?, by Jeremy Hurst and SallyWilliams, draws on a review of UK and international research studies and a survey of senior managers and clinicians at NHS trusts.

The challenge facing NHS providers is to think differently about how they deliver services in order to extract the necessary efficiencies

The report contains recommendations on how hospitals can increase efficiency. It identifies the key determinants of technical efficiency in hospitals, whichinclude: leadership, management and staff engagement; technology adoption; hospital operational processes; staff productivity; and the external policyenvironment.

The authors warn that the proposals set out in Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS could undermine the efficiency agenda by distracting commissioners from the need to shift care from hospitals to thecommunity, and by diverting managers from the efficiency agenda.

Alongside the main report, the Nuffield Trust has published a research summary that draws on the findings to identify implications for policy and practice in light of current reforms to the NHS and the need to deliver challenging efficiency savings.

A copy of the report can be downloaded from http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/publications/can-nhs-hospitals-do-more-less

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