Sustainability and transformation plans: how serious are the proposals? A critical review

London South Bank University, School of Health and Social Care, May 2017

This report argues that in order to deliver a better future for the NHS, all 44 STPs would need to be given legislative powers and support necessary to achieve effective collaboration, plus some much-needed clarification on their role. It also recommends that STP leaders need to plan ahead based on the reality of their current situation, identify changes that are evidence-based, develop workforce plans that match their ambitions, and focus on reducing demand before removing resources from the acute sector. Alongside the main report, 44 sub-reports are available, each critically reviewing the plans for each STP locality.

Towards affordable healthcare: Why effective innovation is key

This major new report, supported by EY has found that whilst the UK is well placed to innovate to improve health outcomes and reduce costs, the UK is often not doing enough with the tools at its disposal | ILC

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Image source: ILC

With the NHS committed to achieving efficiency savings of £22 billion through productivity gains of 2 to 3% between 2015 – 2020-202, ‘Towards affordable healthcare: Why effective innovation is key’ explores how health care innovations currently employed at home and abroad could increase productivity and reduce costs.

The report showcases seven outstanding global and UK-based innovations with a strong evidence base of demonstrable success, and calculates the savings that could be achieved by implementing them across the UK. Home grown innovations include:

  • The UK’s Memory First Project, an integrated dementia service run by a consortium of GPs across Staffordshire. Savings if working methods applied nationally: up to £38 million between 2019 – 2030.
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary’s programme of providing the training and equipment to perform home dialysis. Savings if programmed applied nationally: up to £5.6 billion between 2014 – 2030.

The report concludes however the UK is often not doing enough with the tools at its disposal to implement such innovations. Social care is underfunded and fragmented, which has consequences also for NHS costs, and funding mechanisms within the health system can often discourage innovation; there continues to be a slow uptake in the UK of new drugs and treatments, with adoption speed varying across the country.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals reducing agency spend case study

This case study shares the experience of Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust on how they reduced levels of medical agency spending | NHS Employers

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The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has reduced its medical agency spend by introducing a central deployment service and making effective use of e-rostering to deliver a consistent and professional approach to the deployment of junior doctors.

This case study details the work the trust has carried out, from the medical workforce team working with medical managers, consultants and junior doctors to standardisation of processes. Read up on the steps they took towards improvement and the successes that have been achieved.

Download the full case study here

How healthcare is funded

Kings Fund, March 2017

The NHS is experiencing the longest and most severe slowdown in funding in its history. This has raised questions about the sustainability of its funding model. This article explains the main models used to finance health care: taxation, private health insurance and social health insurance. It outlines how each model works in its purest form, while recognising that most countries typically pay for health care using a combination of methods.

Total transformation of care and support

The Social Care Institute for Excellence has published Creating the five year forward view for social care: how transformed and integrated health and care could improve outcomes and cost-effectiveness.

This updated paper explores the potential for scaling up the most promising examples of care, support and community health services, initially using data from Birmingham City Council, modelling their outcomes and costs.  Originally published in November 2016, it has been updated to include additional models.

The report contains the following chapters:

Vision for transformed care: Re-shaping services around the needs and strengths of individuals, families and communities.

Key messages and summary: Outcomes can be improved, and costs reduced, if the sector scales up promising practice.

Case studies: Six models of care and their potential impact on costs and outcomes.

Models of care: Overview of promising practice that support transformative change in health and social care.

Conclusions and next steps

The paper is available to download here

Engaging Health Care Volunteers to Pursue the Triple Aim

New reimbursement models, pressure to reduce costs, increased emphasis on prevention and relentless focus on the patient experience and clinical outcomes require attention to patients and families in new ways | American Hospital Association

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Image source: AHA

As hospitals, health systems and other providers navigate this evolution, health care volunteers stand out as key contributors in the success of pursuing the Triple Aim, a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that outlines an approach for maximizing the performance of the health care system. The intent is that every activity or process be aligned with these three domains:

  • Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)
  • Improving the health of populations
  • Reducing the per-capita cost of health care.

High-performing health care organizations are striving to adhere to these principles as they seek to best serve their patients, families and communities.

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Image source: AHA

This resource showcases how Volunteer Services strategically supports the Triple Aim. The information comes from interviews with volunteers, auxilians, directors of volunteer services and chief executive officers, who shared critical success factors in engaging volunteers in these efforts. It features case examples depicting how volunteers support the Triple Aim, including programs dedicated to:

  • Reducing avoidable readmissions
  • Improving the patient experience
  • Improving HCAHPS scores
  • Enhancing community engagement
  • Improving quality
  • Increasing health care access
  • Lowering health care costs
  • Improving patient safety

Read the full report here

Tackling Wasteful Spending on Health

Tackling Wasteful Spending on Health – report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

This report reviews strategies to limit ineffective spending and waste. Following a brief pause after the economic crisis, health expenditure is rising again in most OECD countries. Countries could potentially spend significantly less on health care with no impact on health system performance, or on health outcomes. This report systematically reviews strategies put in place by countries to limit ineffective spending and waste. On the clinical front, preventable errors and low-value care are discussed. The operational waste discussion reviews strategies to obtain lower prices for medical goods and to better target the use of expensive inputs. Finally, the report reviews countries experiences in containing administrative costs and integrity violations in health.