Question-mark hangs over NHS efficiency savings

By staff

The NHS’ ability to manage impending ‘efficiency savings’ is in doubt, judging by its past performance, an influential committee of MPs has said.

The public accounts committee’s report into Agenda for Change, a major programme for modernising and simplifying the pay and conditions of over a million NHS staff, found there was no proof it had achieved its claimed £1.3 billion savings.

It remains unclear how the newly productive and effective NHS is working, with further doubts caused by difficulties implementing its training package.

“It is not known whether the Agenda for Change programme has generated the predicted £1.3 billion savings.

“That makes it all the more incumbent on the Department [of Health] to explain to us how the programme is going to support the £15 billion of efficiency improvements in the NHS planned for the next three years.”

The report noted that NHS productivity fell by 2.5 per cent between 2001 and 2005, but improved slightly thereafter.