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Improving efficiency in the NHS

This Health Foundation-funded project examines procurement behaviour in the NHS in order to identify how inefficiencies occur, and suggest areas for improvement.

The NHS is under increasing pressure to deliver efficiency savings, and Trusts are required to do more with the same resources. Procurement and ‘back office’ functions have been identified as important areas where efficiency gains could be made.

Lord Carter’s review of NHS productivity calculated that up to £1 billion of the NHS’s £9bn procurement spend could be saved by adopting best practice and modern systems. Working with The Behavioural Insights Team, the Policy Institute is conducting a qualitative investigation into procurement behaviour, with a view to establishing the mechanisms via which inefficiencies occur in the day-to-day running of NHS Trusts.

Through this research we have examined existing and developing procurement software and its impact on efficiency, documented the influence of the environment in which procurement takes place, and recorded the perspectives of procurement managers, administrators and clinical staff.