Magazine article Management Services

Chairman's Column

Magazine article Management Services

Chairman's Column

Article excerpt

Institute News

In my column in the Summer Journal, I highlighted the lack of action by the UK Government to address productivity issues in the public sector, especially in the present economic climate. Since writing that, we have seen the setting up of a NHS Productivity Unit, headed by Margaret Edwards, the former chief executive of the Yorkshire and Humber strategic health authority. The objective of this newly established NHS Productivity Unit is to prepare the health service for the economic downturn. At face value this appears to be a positive step until one learns that the unit's annual budget is only £350,000. I understand that the unit has only two members of staff, so it would appear to be slightly understaffed to perform the mammoth task of increasing productivity and so delivering an efficient health service that meets our needs in a cost effective manner.

It is not surprising to read in the local press that the International Monetary Fund is predicting that Britain will have the biggest debt of any major economy in 2010. It is predicted that the UK Government's budget deficit will soar to £191 billion. This equates to £7600 for every family in Britain. Clearly the only meaningful way to reduce this budget deficit is to reduce public spending in order to balance the books.

The right direction?

I suppose the establishment of the NHS Productivity Unit is a move in the right direction but can anyone really be serious that it will be an effective unit for increasing productivity and reducing costs with a budget of only £350,000? …

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