Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Is Doing More for Less, Say Auditors

Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Is Doing More for Less, Say Auditors

Article excerpt

The NHS is succeeding in doing more for less but is making little progress in moving treatment out of hospitals and closer to patients' homes, the Audit Commission has said.

Its report, More for less, published on November 12, found that overall trusts spent less per treatment in 2007/08 than they did in 2006/07. Total spending rose by 6.5% to £74.76bn in this period but an increase in treatments carried out meant unit costs fell by 4.7% in real terms.

The study interpreted the figures as a sign that trusts appeared to be 'taking their first steps to increasing productivity and to meeting challenges of the future'.

However, trusts were criticised for failing to transfer care to the community, which the commission said could bring more savings. The number of outpatients grew by 8% in 2008/09, while inpatients increased by 4%. …

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