Analysis

Productivity still ‘not good enough’, says Carter review

The starting gun has been fired. After 18 months of work, Lord Carter’s roadmap for hospitals to achieve £5 billion a year of spending cuts has been published

The starting gun has been fired. After 18 months of work, Lord Carter’s roadmap for hospitals to achieve £5 billion a year of spending cuts has been published.

The Labour peer’s report, commissioned by ministers and released last month, makes 15 detailed recommendations for achieving the savings target by 2020.

Care providers in England have also been given individual savings targets after his rigorous review, which covered procurement and the management of staff, estates and medicines.

Not good enough

All this comes after Lord Carter’s interim report in the summer, which outlines the £5 billion target. The final report states that, while there is some exceptional work in the £55 billion hospital sector, the overall approach to productivity and efficiency is not good enough.

To make the point, the report highlights examples of ‘unwarranted’ variation between trusts, which include:

  • The average cost of inpatient
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