The budget announced today could mean a few things for health. Andy Burnham, Health secretary, proposed a third of the savings, cutting £4.35bn. He claimed that his department could save £1.5bn by driving down the cost of procurement, £100m from IT programmes, £60m from reducing energy consumption and £555m by reducing staff sickness and absence. How then does this translate and upscale into 15-20billion in efficiency savings by 2013-14?
The HSJ reported today that this level of savings could only be realised through local organisations – that is greater staff productivity (i.e. low morale) and better estate, procurement and referral management.
There was no mention of the balancing act between the long term provision of health and social care in the context of an ageing population and a fundamental need for efficiency savings.
An order has never seemed so tall – watch this space.