Improving NHS quality may only make 'limited' savings

Improving quality in the NHS may only generate 'limited' savings, according to a report by healthcare analysts.

Lord Ara Darzi
Lord Ara Darzi

Despite warnings of a £20bn funding shortfall by 2014, health secretary Andy Burnham and former health minister Lord Ara Darzi have maintained that services will not have to be cut because improving quality will generate ‘efficiency savings'.

The report, by researchers The Health Foundation, concludes that improving quality will have ‘an important if limited contribution to addressing financial pressures'.

‘Not all improvement saves money in all situations,' the report says. ‘Savings have been reported in some cases, but the evidence is weak and research does not give a guide to what to expect locally, or how to ensure savings.'  

Other quality improvements can take a long time before savings are realised, says the report.

The research reviewed evidence of a variety of quality problems in healthcare, and of their overall financial costs. 

  • Do you think improving quality will generate savings?




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