The stats

The National Health Service is in dire financial constraints. Every three days the NHS spends an astonishing £1 billion pounds, which equates to £2000 per tax payer. The annual NHS budget is £115 billion bounds. When you correlate these facts with the challenges the NHS is facing, one realises it doesn’t quite add up. Furthermore, when you take into consideration there is a predicted £20 million shortfall that will be realised in 2020, it leaves the future looking even bleaker. Why is the NHS over spending so much? The majority of the reason is due to failed projects such as this one.

Here is a summarised breakdown of where the money is spent (per annum):

  • £17.8 billion per year on medicine
  • £58 billion on procedures and treatment
  • £900 million is the cleaning cost for all hospitals
  • £177 million is the laundry bill
  • £26 million is spent on gardening

Utilities such as the above mentioned exceeded the cost spent on chemotherapy by £100 million

Staff costs (selected)

  • Consultants – £4.8 billion
  • Nurse (qualified) – £9.8 billion
  • Speech and language therapists £212 million
  • Porters – £164 million
  • Management – £2.1 billion
  • Qualified ambulance staff £681 million

Surgical Costs (selected)

  • Cataract surgery – £276 million (300k operations)
  • Caesarean – £602 million (164k procedures)
  • Knee operations – £698 million (231k procedures)
  • Hip operations – £903 million (176k procedures)


  • Medical negligence cases -£1.2 billion
  • These cases bring forward £259 million in legal costs.

Government strategy

The new government has outlined the areas where it believes costs can be reduced. These include:

  • Improving workforce efficiency
  • Improve hospital estates

We have an unequivocal belief in data because it provides a clear and accurate picture. It is important to use that data to identify areas where there are cost inefficiencies and thus address them. Here we present three methods of doing so.

Measuring outcomes of surgery

The top 10 most common surgical procedures in the NHS range from cataract surgery to varicose veins. Measuring the outcomes of the surgery will enable one to understand the effectiveness of the procedure and allows one to clearly identify and compare the quality of life of a patient pre and post operation. A procedure that has not gone to plan will result in re-admission of the patient and the patient may raise matters of negligence, all procuring a cost implication. Visualising the outcomes of such procedures equips health professionals to understand areas where there is potential for improvements to be made, simultaneously comparing their outcomes with that of their colleagues to establish best practice guidelines.

Staff and patient experience

For a 360 view, staff and patient experience should be collected hand in hand. A simple example, a patient may say that the receptionist never looked or smiled at them at admission or discharge. At face value this looks like the receptionist is not projecting the required image. However, a corresponding staff survey may reveal that the height of the desk and the position of the computer screen make it difficult for the receptionist to make eye contact with patients.

Acting on such issues in real time allows a hospital to make relevant changes and adjustments while the problem is ‘live’ as opposed to realising the issue  in end of month meetings, for example, and then applying changes when, essentially, it is too late because the patient has passed through the system without a resolution or explanation.

Estates and facilities

he utilisation of a performance dashboard can visually and graphically emphasise various expenditures as part of estates and facilities in areas such as cleaning, laundry, contracted out services, food and so forth.

A dashboard allows a cross-Trust comparison and most importantly provides a platform where figures can be questioned and the “why” of costs can be asked. For example, if there are 3 settings in Trust A and 2 of the three are spending considerably lower on cleaning than the third, it puts the third setting in a position to lower costs taking best practice methods from the former two settings.

Seeing is believing

DCC have been fortunate enough to work in outcomes, experience and estate projects. To receive your free login to one of our performance dashboards, please get into contact and we can set you up immediately. As part of the demo we will be at hand to guide on the usage, navigation and functionality range of the dashboard.