Editorial

How you can help your organisation save money and improve patient care

The recent monitoring report from the King’s Fund is merely the latest in a long line of documents which have highlighted the financial pressures the NHS is under due to overwhelming service demand and budget cuts.

These reports are crucial to giving a snapshot of the state of our health system, but the majority fail to give nurses, and those managing them on the frontline, any real guidance on how they can try to save money in their day-to-day roles.

Our news analysis on the costs of clinical and non-clinical negligence claims examines one way in which staff can help.

Figures from the NHS Litigation Authority reveal that more than 15,000 claims were made against the health service in England in 2015/16, costing £1.4 billion in pay outs and legal representation – a huge amount by anyone’s standards.

This is money that could be better spent on direct services, staffing and patient care.

Raising awareness

With this goal in mind, the authority has published a collection of Did you Know? leaflets which aim to raise awareness of the costs of compensating patients for poor care and reduce preventable harms in key areas as a result.

Stats are also available on the numbers and costs of claims relating to each specialty in each individual organisation.

Managers can take the lead on this in their teams by examining claims data against incidents and complaints to identify problem areas.

Information can then be presented to staff to help them address the common causes of harm to themselves and patients.

This is a brilliant opportunity for nurse managers and their staff to make a tangible difference to the bottom line of their organisation while at the same time improving patient care and protecting their own safety.

Sophie Blakemore is editor of Nursing Management

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