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Improving NHS staff productivity 'could save £280m a year'

The report found NHS expenditure on staff accounts for more than 60p of every pound hospitals spend. Credit: Hugh Macknight / PA Archive/PA Images

An 18-month review looking at ways to cut waste and enhance efficiency in the NHS, has found improving staff productivity by five minutes every shift could save £280 million a year.

The review, by efficiency expert Lord Carter, also found that with better procurement, the NHS could save £700 million every year.

The report added: "A sample of 22 trusts use 30,000 suppliers, 20,000 different product brands, over 400,000 manufacturer products codes and more than 7,000 people are able to place orders."

My experience of the NHS and hospitals internationally is that high-quality patient care and sound financial management go hand in hand.

"To improve the quality of care, hospitals must grasp resources more effectively, especially staff, which account for more than 60p of every pound hospitals spend.

– Lord Carter

The report comes as a separate study from the National Audit Office (NAO) found that in 2014 there was an overall staffing shortfall of around 5.9% in the NHS, equating to a gap of around 50,000 clinical staff.

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BMA and NHS still in talks over junior doctors' contracts

Junior doctors went on strike earlier in the month Credit: PA

The British Medical Association and the NHS have said talks are ongoing over the junior doctors' contracts and while "differences remain" the "focus now is on making progress".

The second junior doctors' strike on 26-28 January was suspended by the BMA last week.

Thousands of medical staff went on strike earlier in the month against Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's proposed changes to junior doctor contracts.

A strike planned on 10 February could still go ahead if the negotiations stall.

The BMA and NHS Employers released a joint statement: "Talks are ongoing and the focus now is on making progress in those talks.

"Differences remain on some key areas but we are committed to addressing these privately in talks through Acas."

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