A guide for doctors on cutting waste in clinical care, which was co-authored by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Fellow in Sustainability, Dr Daniel Maughan, was the BBC’s top story on 6th November. Commissioned by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the guide provides a framework for doctors to think critically about waste from a clinical perspective and provides examples of doctors improving the value of healthcare by reducing waste.
Chair of the Academy, Professor Terrence Stephenson, spoke about the report on Radio Four’s November 6th Today Programme (at 1 hr 9 minutes) highlighting examples in the report such as minimising the use of x-rays where there is no proven benefit from their use.
Dr Maughan, who is based at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare during his two-year fellowship, sets out how reducing waste leads to significant financial and carbon savings. In an interview on BBC News 24 on the day the report was released, he said: “It outlines lots of case studies that show how doctors, when they critically review the clinical resources they are using on a daily basis, can lead to significant savings for the NHS.”
He cited a Liverpool hospital where consultant ward rounds were increased from twice a week to twice a day and reduced bed occupancy by 8%. In Bristol, an open access online booking system for operating theatres was set up. “It saved the trust £2 million, because it was a more efficient process.”
The full report can be viewed here.