Making the NHS more efficient and less bureaucratic

Supporting detail:

NHS management and commissioning

We plan to reduce the costs of managing the NHS by more than a third between 2010 and 2015. We’ll do this by:

  • from April 2013, abolishing primary care trusts (which cost around £1 billion a year to run) and strategic health authorities
  • closing some NHS organisations to use resources more efficiently by transferring functions elsewhere

NHS property company

We’re also expecting to make savings through the new NHS property company, which is taking over responsibility for renting out nearly 4,000 buildings - including office space, GP surgeries and community hospitals. The company will also be responsible for selling off property belonging to primary care trusts that’s no longer needed.

Commissioning and paying for NHS services

Some health services will be commissioned directly by NHS England. For other services, new clinical commissioning groups will take over responsibilty for deciding how NHS funds are spent in their local area.

We’re expecting this new approach to commissioning and payments to help make the NHS more efficient by:

  • basing payments on quality of care rather than just number of patients treated - so service providers have more of an incentive to get care right the first time
  • giving GPs more responsibility for managing budgets - so they have more of an incentive to look for the most efficient treatments

From 2014, we’re introducing a new ‘value-based pricing’ system for setting the prices of branded medicines. This means there will be a closer link between how much the NHS pays for a new medicine and the benefits it brings to patients and society.

Organisations with financial problems

We’re also making the health sector regulator Monitor responsible for keeping essential services running if organisations get into financial trouble. This should mean more openness about what’s happening with struggling organisations - and that if payments are made to keep a service going, they’re made in a transparent way.

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