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The Lord Carter Review

2 September 2015

Lord Carter published his interim report in June 2015 based on his review of Operational Productivity in NHS Provider organisations.  The findings in the report – a fuller update will be available in the Autumn – has been an inclusive process.  Lord Carter has worked with some 22 NHS hospitals who have engaged in detailed conversations to explore the opportunities he has outlined.

It is clear, there is much to celebrate about the NHS; an organisation in its 70th year, a committed and talented workforce, new technologies and drugs, world class hospitals: people in this country are living longer, thanks to the healthcare provision we receive and this is testament to the NHS and the exceptional outcomes it delivers.

Behind this rosy backdrop, however, there are significant challenges.

The government has pledged at least £8 billion in additional funding for the NHS by 2020.  What this actually means, is the NHS needs to find nearly three times as much – some £22 billion – over the same period, through improvement in productivity and efficiency.

Lord Carter is reluctant to set detailed targets as to how to achieve this, but he believes, annually, some £2 billion could be delivered by improving workflow and containing workforce costs and a further £3 billion could be derived from improved hospital pharmacy and medicines management optimisation, estates and procurement through adopting best practice.

So what does this mean?

The NHS Confederation recently published their member survey whereby “71 percent of senior NHS leaders described the current financial pressures as the worst they have ever experienced”. 

It is clear that whilst Lord Carter has been meticulous in his approach to explore how goods and services are purchased in the health service, if the NHS is to deliver the cost efficiency savings required, new paradigms of thought will be required by senior leaders within the system to make it happen.

We share the widely held view that through collaboration, we can support the NHS to bring down their interim management costs – indeed, we have robust examples where we have worked closely with clients, as a framework provider, to not only ensure good governance, but also work within tightly controlled financial envelopes through creative thinking where savings can be diverted to front line services. 

What is clear in all of this is that more can and must be done.

If you would like to explore how Odgers Interim can support you in delivering against the challenge, please contact Sarah Lovell.

Categories: Healthcare


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