How Norwich hospital plans to save �30m

A Norwich hospital trust has outlined how it is hoping to make �30m of efficiency savings this financial year.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is facing at least a �30m cost pressure, or eight per cent of its turnover, in 2011-12 because of an increasing elderly and dependent population against a backdrop of rising costs of drugs and techniques.

The entire NHS as a whole needs to find ways to save �20bn by 2015 and so each health trust has been putting in place a QIPP plan, which stands for Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention.

The idea is for all staff to think about ways in which they can improve the service or the way they do things, by cutting out wastage and saving money at the same time.

At a meeting this month Anna Crispe associate director of service improvement, said the hospital had achieved a �2.7m surplus at the end of September, compared to a plan of �2.8m.

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She said the surplus was needed for capital investments and equipment to maintain the hospital's standard of service.

She added: 'Every QIPP prorgamme we have has clear quality aims in place and we monitor and trend those as much as the financial side.'

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One example of a QIPP initiative is in the theatres at the N&N, where a member of staff queried why, over the years, both compression stockings and Flowtron boots were used on a patient to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

The team decided to look at recently issued national guidance, which showed that just one of the pieces of equipment could be used.

From March 2010-11, the theatres at the hospital spent more than �131,000 on Flowtron boots, at a cost of �9.80 per small pair and �15.50 per large pair.

Since the changes were made the hospital has seen its expenditure drop, from nearly �13,000 in July 2010 to around �6,800 in July this year, and just over �9,400 in August 2010 to just over �5,000 in the same month this year.

The meeting of the council of governors at the N&N heard how many small projects like this were all contributing to the larger targets for each department.

However, the governors also heard how a project to manage referrals to hsiopital and avoid admissions had had limited impact so far.

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