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Mr Jeremy Hunt - Department of Health

I should like to make a statement on the final report of operational productivity in English NHS acute hospitals carried out by Lord Carter of Coles.

His detailed analysis of acute hospitals across the NHS has revealed unwarranted variations across a whole number of areas from workforce productivity, medicines choice, procurement, through to the costs of running the estate. His report identifies far-reaching opportunities for improving productivity and efficiency across the NHS. Lord Carters report makes 15 recommendations for tackling unwarranted variation in the productivity and performance of trusts which could release around 5bn in efficiency savings. They cover how to improve efficiencies in areas across:

  • Clinical staff and clinical resources
  • Non-clinical resources
  • Leadership and people management
  • IT
  • Hospital collaboration
  • Regulation and support management

The House will be fully aware that the Government has committed to a further 10bn investment in the NHS over this Parliament, but as the NHSs plan for the future has made clear, significant savings must continue to be made. So I was keen to know what could be done to make existing budgets go further which is why I asked Lord Carter to undertake this review. His findings are revealing in that there is inexplicable and unwarranted variation across our hospitals in the way they manage their resources. This must be tackled and I welcome his proposals for addressing this.

Lord Carter proposes and has already developed the first iterations of a model hospital with metrics and benchmarks for measuring productivity and efficiency across a whole range of costs. He also proposes a single integrated performance framework for hospitals one version of the truth that will help trusts set baselines for improvement and provide them with the tools to manage their resources daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. He recommends NHS Improvement should become the organisation to host performance management and to provide the skills and expertise to help trusts improve. I welcome Lord Carters non-executive director role at NHS Improvement and look forward to his going input into the implementation of his review.

In light of Lord Carters report, I can now announce that we will act upon all his recommendations and have asked Lord Carter to report back on progress with implementation by spring 2017.

I attach a copy of the final report and it is available on I asked Lord Carter in June 2014 to undertake his review and I am extremely grateful to him and his team for all their time, expertise and professionalism.


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