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.