The NHS will make efficiency savings by cutting management costs, UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said.
The revision to the 2010/11 NHS Operating Framework represents a change in the key priorities set for the organisation.
“NHS spending will increase, but so too will the demand on NHS services,” said Lansley. “In order to meet this demand, the NHS needs to make substantial savings. That is why I want to see immediate action this year to reduce management costs, so that the savings made can be reinvested in NHS care for patients.”
Management costs are currently £1.85bn, but the UK Government hopes to reduce these by £850m, representing a 46% cut on the 2009/10 NHS management budget.
The revised operating framework also includes the changes to NHS targets in three key areas.
Targets for access to primary care and top-down performance management of the 18 weeks referral-to-treatment will be abolished, while the four-hour accident and emergency target threshold will be reduced from 98% to 95%.
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The revision also places greater focus on dementia and the health of military veterans.
The Government has already announced plans to publish more transparent hospital infection data, create new rules on reconfigurations and withhold payment from hospitals where patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge.
“I want to free the NHS from bureaucracy and targets that have no clinical justification, and move to an NHS that measures its performance on patient outcomes,” Lansley said.