Productivity, Technology and the NHS

Productivity, Technology and the NHS, looks at the NHS in England approach to productivity improvement half-way through the implementation of NHS Engand’s ‘Five Year Forward View | Newchurch

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Image source: Newchurch

A core component of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View (5YFV), which underpinned the subsequent financial settlement agreed with the Government, was that NHS  productivity would improve by 2.4% a year for each of the five years up to 2020/21. The 5YFV went further suggesting that its implementation could even result in sustained improvements of 3% a year in the longer term, a proposition which must have assumed sustained improvement in workforce productivity, given that staff costs make up some 70% of NHS expenditure. This proposition always looked ambitious and subsequent analyses of the NHS’s long-term productivity performance have served to underline the size of the challenge. However the Carter Review, published 12 months ago, underlined the scale of the potential improvements that could be made in the NHS’s dominant acute sector.

A key contributor to achieving the rate of productivity improvement underpinning the 5FYV, reinforced by Carter’s conclusions, was the adoption of new digital technologies. This faith in the impact of digital technology is despite the evidence of the last 20 years that would cast considerable doubt as to the productivity impact of the digital technologies programmes that the NHS in England and its predecessors have implemented.

An analysis of current performance and future plans at the national, Sustainability and Transformation Plan and trust level suggests that the NHS as a system gives little priority to productivity improvement. Furthermore current plans for the development and implementation of digital technologies are unlikely to have any significant impact on productivity, certainly within the lifetime of the 5YFV.

Read the full overview here

Read the full report here

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National health organisations publish a shared commitment to quality

The National Quality Board (NQB) has today (21 December) published a new framework that will promote improved quality criteria across all national health organisations for the first time | NHS England

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Image source: NHS England

The new publication provides a nationally agreed definition of quality and guide for clinical and managerial leaders wanting to improve quality.

The approach has been agreed by the national bodies that form the NQB to provide more consistency and to enable the system to work together more effectively.

It is part of work to cut unnecessary red tape by reducing duplication and aligning demands on professionals for information on the quality of services.

The document sets out a range of measures to achieve higher and consistent standards including: the need for a common language that people who use services understand; to ensure commissioners and providers experience a coherent system of assurance, measurement and regulation; that professionals and staff are equipped and empowered to deliver safe, effective, and responsive care; and leaders should create a culture where people feel free to speak up when something goes wrong.

Read the full overview here

Read the full framework here

Transformation fund call to bid

To support the implementation of the Five Year Forward View vision of better health, better patient care and improved NHS efficiency, NHS England has created a transformation fund | NHS England

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The interventions for which transformation funding are available are:

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are central to this process and all bids should be explicitly linked to the relevant local STP plans. This process is open to any STP, although individual organisations or alliances may bid on behalf of an STP for this funding; submission of applications must be via STPs.

Read the full overview here