Manage costs

Getting the finances in order

The NHS is facing unprecedented financial difficulty. And it isn’t just limited to a few failing trusts; it’s becoming endemic across the system. Pressures are growing and performance is deteriorating. But there’s a lot that local NHS organisations and systems can do to help themselves. At PwC, we’ve worked with a significant number of NHS organisations to help them get their finances in order. We have nothing but respect and admiration for NHS management, and we see ourselves complementary to their skills.

Road to recovery

Financial control is the vital first step to making the NHS sustainable. It’s the platform upon which long-term transformative change can be built.

While individual Trusts aren’t always fully in control of their own destiny, and strong leadership is needed at the national level to address the £30bn funding gap by 2021, there is more that they can do to ensure they have the processes and systems in place to avoid financial trouble.  Through our work with NHS leadership teams, we have identified common solutions to tackling financial challenges:

Get the right leadership in place

Get the right leadership in place. Strong organisations recognise they need people with the capability, time and commitment to lead and deliver financial recovery programmes, while also improving operational performance and quality of care.

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Find the underlying causes of financial challenges

Find the underlying causes of financial challenges, share these widely and gain buy in to these factors before acting on them.

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Get discretionary spending under control

Get discretionary spending under control, gripping the organisation firmly.

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Build a credible and easy recovery plan

Build a credible and easy recovery plan that acts quickly to stop the situation getting worse and improves things in the short and medium term while also understanding what needs to happen to make the change sustainable in the long term.

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Communicate clearly

Communicate clearly to staff about what they need to do to change things.

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Five levers to improve supply chain management

The pressure of increasing demand alongside financial challenge in the NHS is well known. The population is ageing and living longer with more chronic diseases while the sophistication of diagnostic and therapeutic technologies is increasing. Healthcare leaders are facing harder and harder choices about how to prioritise their resources and are struggling to guarantee safety and quality of care.  The health and social care system needs to significantly transform to address these challenges so that resources can be freed up and targeted on securing the best possible patient outcomes.

Lord Carter’s report on operational productivity in acute hospitals identified potential efficiencies in many areas including supply chain management.  Until now it has not been seen as a priority within the NHS and its benefits have not been widely understood. But that is changing as the healthcare sector is beginning to learn the lessons of other industries such as retail or automotive where supply chain systems ensure availability, effective use of supply and analysis of future requirements.  Approximately 30% of a hospital's total budget is spent on supply chain activities, hence a step-change in performance is not simply a ‘nice to have’, it is crucial to deliver the savings that trusts need to return to financial sustainability. And the benefits are not only monetary - through data tracking and analysis, there is also the potential to improve overall care quality.

Through our experience working with NHS organisations we have identified five levers which we believe will impact the supply chain and allow hospitals to transform systems and benefit from overall care improvements:

  • point of use data capture
  • control tower management
  • tackling clinical variation
  • strategic inventory management
  • enhancing supplier relationships

Read more here

Contact us

Quentin Cole

Leader of Industry for Government and Health Industries, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 7770 303 846

David Morris

Public Sector Health Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7841 784 180

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