HOSPITALS are to be given their own saving targets in a drive to save the NHS money.
The figures are being sent to 137 hospital trusts by Lord Patrick Carter, who has been appointed by the government to improve efficiency in the NHS.
There should not be a postcode lottery for healthcare and hopefully this will go some way to close that gapSteve Taylor, manager of Healthwatch Hampshire
He will spend the next six weeks meeting hospital bosses to discuss the targets, before they are made public.
It is not known yet if Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, has been given a figure.
According to its latest financial report, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, that for the first quarter of the financial year the trust is £16m in deficit.
In June, Lord Carter’s report on the NHS identified a number of measures it said could save £5bn a year by 2019-20.
Lord Carter came to that figure after spending a year working with 22 hospitals.
He found a wide variation in spending across medicines, everyday items, such as dressings and syringes, and on facilities such as heating.
His review also said major savings could be made through better staff rotas and management of training and annual leave.
There were also wide differences in the cost of common operations, such as hip replacements, and infection rates.
He has now broken down the savings by speciality. The process has enabled Lord Carter to benchmark what each hospital should be doing in each department.
Steve Taylor, manager of patient watchdog group Healthwatch Hampshire, welcomed the report but also wants patient’s views to be heard.
He said: ‘Trying to find savings and more efficiencies is always welcome, as long as it doesn’t impact patients in a negative way.
‘But what I’m not getting from this report is that patient’s views are being listened to.
‘Often they also have some great ideas about where changes and improvements can be made.
‘There should not be a postcode lottery for healthcare and hopefully this will go some way to close that gap.
‘What you don’t want to see is well-performing hospitals being asked to scale back to meet other hospitals, they should all be encouraged to excel.’
Where biggest savings can be made:
– General medicine £381m
– Obstetrics and gynaecology £362m
– Trauma and orthopaedics £286m
– Pathology £256m
– Cancer services £255m
– Emergency medicine £254m
– General surgery £235m
– Community nursing £217m
–High cost drugs £213m