Simple steps ‘could save NHS £5bn’

The NHS in England could save £5bn a year with improved staff organisation and a better approach to purchasing, a review will say.

Lord Carter came to the conclusion after spending a year working with 22 hospitals on behalf of the government.

He found a wide variation in spending across medicines, everyday items and on facilities, such as heating.

He also identified huge inefficiencies in the way staff were managed, with one hospital losing £10,000 a month through workers claiming too much leave.

The report, which will be published in full later, will also say hospitals need to make better use of staff through flexible working and better rostering.

Meanwhile, better use of medicines could also have a substantial impact, the efficiency review said.

Lord Carter found one hospital had managed to save £40,000 a year by using non-soluble versions of a tablet for liver failure that cost 2p instead of the soluble versions at £1.50.

He also said major savings could be made on everyday items such as syringes and aprons with prices varying by as much as a third.

The review recommended a single electronic catalogue be created for the purchasing of such goods.

Source: BBC News- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33071066