Pragmatism can avert an NHS cash crisis

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At first sight, it might seem odd that The King’s Fund’s new report, The NHS productivity challenge: Experience from the front line, argues that the NHS needs more money and needs it soon. After all, the health service has, on the whole, managed rather well in the face of the unprecedented slowdown in funding since 2010-11 – at least until now.

There is also plenty of evidence that more could be squeezed out of existing budgets. For example, through improved procurement and changes to clinical practice. Indeed, we suggest several ways in which this search for greater value could be enhanced, including:

  • a co-ordinated national focus on collating and diffusing more productive approaches and innovations
  • more sophisticated approaches to devising and using incentives
  • ensuring there is a way for a health economy or region to plan and progress change, particularly where there that change includes winners and losers
  • renewed efforts to encourage clinicians to identify and lead change.

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