15. June 2012 15:41
The NHS could save as much as £3.4 billion each year if procurement and commissioning teams within the health service improved their commercial skills, a new report says.
The CBI’s The right care in the right place claims that commissioning services closer to the homes of patients and utilising technologically advanced working measures would save billions.
According to the business lobbying group, “procurement and commissioning teams often lack commercial savvy” at a huge cost to the taxpayer.
The report found that issuing staff with the means to work remotely through the use of smart phones could contribute to annual savings of £1.9bn. It predicts the wider adoption of homecare would also contribute a further £1.3bn.
The report also advised commissioners to share best practice around England and conduct market testing to find the most effective private sector partners to deliver healthcare cheaper and more efficiently.
“Some commissioners are already working with the private sector to successfully put these advanced healthcare systems into practice, but there are still too many barriers preventing them from becoming widespread,” said Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Advisor.
Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts, the report advises, should also consult with private sector organisations to develop simplified financial and regulatory checks.
The Department of Health, the report recommends, should take its lead from the Cabinet Office and create a secondment team to develop improved commercial awareness in the public sector.
14. June 2012 14:51
Heather Lawrence (pictured), Chief Executive of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is to step down from her role and join Monitor as a Non-Executive Director.
She will join the Independent Regulator on 1 July and brings more than 40 years of experience working within the healthcare sector.
David Bennett, Chair, Monitor, said Heather will be a “very welcome addition to the team of Non-Executives”.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley also backed the appointment. “I am delighted to announce Heather Lawrence’s appointment as a Non Executive Director of Monitor,” he said.
“She has a breadth of front-line NHS experience which perfectly equips her for this challenging role. Her knowledge of the NHS will offer Monitor’s Board insights that will help Monitor in the development and delivery of its duty to protect and promote the interests of those who use healthcare services.”
Monitor authorises and regulates NHS foundation trusts and supports their development, ensuring they are well-governed and financially robust.
4. April 2012 15:06
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has written to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) emphasising the freedom the Health and Social Care Act will give them.
In one of four separate letters sent to key health and care organisations and their staff, he outlined how the Act will increase the powers of CCGs and hopes these new opportunities will be fulfilled.
Mr Lansley said the “Act represents an important step” and hopes CCGs “takes maximum advantage of your new powers and freedoms”.
The letter outlined how the new structure of the NHS will be in place within a year’s time and how patients and staff will quickly “see the improvements the new system will bring”.
He insisted that the reforms have two simple principles to offer patients more control over the care they receive and to provide “freedom and powers” to those now responsible for patient care.
The Health Secretary said in the letter it was his “ambition” to achieve a clinically-led NHS.
Mr Lansley then discussed the freedoms to “to use the NHS budget in the best interests of your patients”, to “structure” CCGs to suit and to “pursue innovative ways of delivering care”.
When CCGs become statutory budget holders from April 1 2013, the Health Secretary highlighted the freedom commissioners will have “to prioritise resources in ways that best suit the needs of your population” and then “reinvest all efficiency savings you make directly back into frontline patient care”.
He added that he was aware that “many of you are eager to take advantage of your new powers and responsibilities as soon as possible” and that the NHS Commissioning Board is working to ensure “CCGs feel ready and willing to take up their full responsibilities”.
Mr Lansley also penned similar letters to NHS foundation trusts, NHS trusts and local authorities.