£10m of waste avoided by better healthcare planning
NHS Bury’s ‘Care about the cost’ campaign which urged the public and health staff to think about NHS resources more carefully, has saved £10m through changes in the way health services are delivered.
Through “Care about the cost”, NHS Bury aimed to improve the way services are delivered, whilst urging local people to help make the most of local resources by considering the full range of NHS services available to them. One of the early themes of the campaign was to only use A&E in an emergency situation, another focussed on reducing wasted medicines.
The latest phase of the campaign has been launched giving details of where and how resources have been saved by changing the way services are delivered. The message from health chiefs in the town is that this is really encouraging news, but that efforts must continue to generate efficiencies whilst improving services for local people.
GPs and other clinicians have played a vital role in achieving these savings by providing the best value, high quality healthcare for local people. The savings have been achieved by:
- Reviewing referral criteria so that patients are referred to hospital by their GP when it is clinically necessary to do so
- Reducing costly and unnecessary appointments at hospital by treating patients in different ways, often closer to home
- Streamlining patients’ care plans to avoid unnecessary steps, making care swifter for patients
- Reducing the time patients need to spend in hospital
- Supporting patients to remain independent in their own homes where this is safe and appropriate to do so
- Reviewing patients’ prescribed medications and reducing wasted medicines through more appropriate repeat prescribing
The latest phase of the campaign will involve advertising key messages in a variety of ways including bus sides and in the local press and media.
Stuart North, former Director of Finance for NHS Bury and the new Interim Chief Operating Officer for the NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Eighteen months ago, NHS Bury was spending £1.3m in excess of its income every month. To tackle this problem a range of corrective measures were implemented, and we launched the “Care about the cost” campaign to signal to the public our efforts to turn around our financial position, whilst getting local people on board about how they could help.”
“Now this situation has been turned around and the books are balanced. We were and remain committed to achieving cost savings by improving the way patient services are delivered, whilst minimising any cost cutting measures that would have an adverse impact on patients. NHS Bury is committed to handing over the reins to the new Clinical Commissioning Group with balanced books thanks to efficiency improvements made over the past year.”
Paul Horrocks, outgoing NHS Bury Chairman added: “While we have been busy behind the scenes trying to work more efficiently and driving up the quality of services, patients have been doing their bit to make the most of local health services. From choosing the most appropriate service that meets their needs to stocking up medicines cabinets in advance of the winter period to deal with common ailments at home, we are very grateful to our local communities for getting on board with “Care about the cost”.”
“Everyone has played a vital role in making this campaign a success, and our thanks go to local people, staff and the GPs and other clinicians who have been committed to making a difference.”
Date: 10th May 2012
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Notes to Editor:
- Bury’s new Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has taken over the leadership of the local NHS.
- Bury’s CCG assumed responsibility for the leadership of the NHS in Bury from 1st April 2012, taking over from the NHS Bury Locality Board.
- Dr. Kiran Patel, local GP, is the Chairman and Clinical Lead of the Bury CCG Board.
- The changes form part of the Government’s plans to reform the NHS as signalled in the Health and Social Care Act. This will result in a clinically-led NHS delivering the best possible care for patients.
- Although it will be another year (1st April 2013) before NHS Bury is abolished, paving the way for Bury CCG to fully take over as the local statutory NHS commissioning organisation, this ‘shadow year’ will see Bury CCG take over responsibility for arranging healthcare services for local people.