15 recommendations presented in a recent report by Lord Carter could see NHS hospitals save a massive £5bn a year by 2020/21. In a detailed analysis of a number of hospitals across England, Carter identified the need for a digital solution to cut cost, increase performance and most importantly improve patient care.
Of these proposed savings up to £2bn comes from the workforce budget, through:
- Better use of clinical staff
- Reducing agency spend and absenteeism
- Adopting good people management practices.
The recommendations that Carter has put forward comes as good news for many health officials. “Any opportunity to transform the way we deliver services to patients is invaluable. That’s why the work being undertaken by Lord Carter and his team is so important to us and why we are so keen to realise the benefits that it can help us deliver” Sir Ian Carruthers, Chair of Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust. (2)
Adopting Good People Management Practices
The traditional top down approach to management is dated and does not provide critical information about individual performance which can impact the overall performance of the NHS.
To become far more efficient as an organisation, the NHS should adopt digital technologies to reduce time spent filling in endless paperwork, monitor individual performance and give everyone an opportunity to provide feedback and voice their opinions.
Utilising a digital OD tool, such as WorkPAL enables you to identify issues within your team before they escalate. When it comes to issues within the team, hearing something from the horse’s mouth is far better than hearing it from someone outside of the NHS.
Reduce Agency Spend and Absenteeism
There are a number of factors that can cost the NHS time and money. Staff is a major cost but at the moment the NHS is being criticised for being under-staffed. Not only are there not enough members of the team to manage the increasing number of patients relying on the UK health care system, but the health workers available are having to bridge the gap and work longer hours to provide care.
In a recent news article, BMA Coordinator and Junior Doctor, Chris Episkopos from the USA revealed, “Two weekends ago I was the only doctor on a ward and two others had been taken off. I was looking after 150 patients without support, and in that situation you’re bleeper is going off constantly, it’s everything you can do to just keep them all alive.” Chris says there simply isn’t enough staff. (3)
From CCGs, nurses and care takers, feeling under valued, stressed and overworked can result in an increase in absences, which means the NHS are forced to call agencies to provide staff at last minute. Reducing the frequency of unnecessary absences means improving the overall wellbeing of the team to prevent stress.
Better Use of Clinical Staff
The NHS deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours, as you can imagine, the yearly cost of such a massive public use health care system is incredible and being able to reduce unnecessary cost and waste is of prior importance. (1)
Understanding the people who work behind the uniform by spending time reviewing performance whilst allowing them the opportunity to feedback with opinions, concerns and thoughts will help you identify hidden talents, and reveal ways to use these skills to improve patient care.
Utilising an OD digital tool such as WorkPAL allows you to easily identify those who are committed and valued members of your team and those who are lacking motivation and may need attention or further development. Moreover, a digital solution can help align staff with key NHS objectives and provide teams with a means of effectively communicating and monitoring their own performance will help encourage everyone to reach a little bit higher and feel respected, valued and able to make a difference.