Cutting Waste can save NHS £5bn


The NHS could save £5bn a year by better managing its staff and clamping down on hospitals which are paying too much for medicines and equipment, according to a new report.

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 on items, from aprons to latex gloves.

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 will say.

A review by Lord Carter has uncovered several instances where NHS trusts are wasting cash which could be reinvested into frontline care for patients reports BBC.

His findings, described as “staggering” by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, include:

:: A hospital which was giving soluble steroids, at a cost of £1.50 per tablet, to all of their patients – even though the solid alternative costs just 2p per tablet. It is now saving £40,000 per year by only giving the soluble version to patients who have difficulty swallowing pills.

:: Another hospital which could save £750,000 each year by offering flexible working to staff, and handling rosters, sickness and annual leave more efficiently.