Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Will 'Struggle to Find Efficiency Savings'

Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Will 'Struggle to Find Efficiency Savings'

Article excerpt

The NHS chief executive has admitted to MPs that it will be a 'tough call' to find the planned £15bn to £20bn of efficiency savings by 2013/14.

Sir David Nicholson first suggested last year that efficiency savings of this scale would be needed to deal with the tighter financial climate. The figure has since been cited in the chancellor's PreBudget Report, which set a requirement for £10bn savings by 2012/13 as an interim step.

But asked about his figures by the Commons health select committee, Nicholson said they were 'not meant to be scientific'. The efficiency total was a 'broad brush' figure based on a standstill NHS budget and assumptions about demographic changes, historic growth in demand for services, recommendations on new drug treatments, workforce and pay issues and policies that had been announced by ministers but not yet implemented, Nicholson said. …

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