Health creating economy

The UK Health Forum has published Proposals for a health-creating economy.

This report sets out the Forum’s view that the UK must continue to be an international leader on global non-communicable diseases prevention through engagement at home and abroad with global institutions, governments, the public sector, civil society and commercial operators. This position will in turn lead to savings to the NHS through reduced avoidable demand on services.

NHS efficiency map: updates

The HFMA and NHS Improvement have worked in partnership to update and revise the NHS efficiency map.


Image source: HFMA

The map is a tool that promotes best practice in identifying, delivering and monitoring cost improvement programmes (CIPs) in the NHS. The map contains links to a range of tools and guidance to help NHS bodies improve their efficiency.

The national focus on improving efficiency and productivity will mean taking local action to deliver savings remains a priority for all NHS organisations. Aimed at NHS finance directors and their teams and other NHS staff with an interest in the delivery of CIPs, the purpose of the NHS efficiency map is to highlight existing resources on eliminating waste, increasing efficiency and at the same time improving quality and safety.

The map is split into three sections: enablers for efficiency, provider efficiency and system efficiency. The map highlights the successes some NHS providers have had in delivering specific efficiency schemes and provides sign-posts to existing tools and reference materials. It also includes updated definitions for different types of efficiency.

The map will be updated as new tools and case studies are produced.

The case studies produced to date are:

Delivering high value health care

The King’s Fund has published the presentations from a conference held on 10 January 2017 on ‘Delivering high value health care’.

The presentations include reducing wasteful spending on healthcare; tackling overuse and underuse of health services; Right Care; improving safety and reducing harm and error; patient safety improvement; and helping patients choose wisely.


  1. Delivering high value health care

  • Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, Department of Health

2. International evidence and experience on reducing wasteful spending on health care

Find all the presentations here

Obesity costs the NHS £2.5 billion a year but ageing population is the real ticking time bomb

IEA releases report showing the net cost of obesity to public services is less than £2.5 billion a year


Image source: IEA

This is the first study to estimate the annual savings that overweight and obese people bring UK taxpayers by dying prematurely (in 2016 prices). Ignoring these savings leads to substantial overestimation of the true burden of elevated body mass index (BMI) to the taxpayer. Our estimate of the present value of pension, healthcare and other benefit payments avoided through early, BMI-caused deaths (net of foregone tax payments) is £3.6 billion per annum. This paper argues the ‘burden-on-the-taxpayer’ narrative, propagated by public health campaigners, is overblown. While claims of a crippling cost are a good way to get media attention, especially during a time of slow motion crisis in the NHS, they irresponsibly incite resentment of a vulnerable group.

Read the full report here

Shaping healthy cities and economies: The role of clinical commissioning

New report shows how clinical commissioning can help realise full potential of local economies | NHSCC


Image source: NHSCC

NHS Clinical Commissioners have today launched a new report showing the positive contribution that clinical commissioners are making to their local economies. With the recent Autumn Statement making it clear that neither health nor social care will receive additional funding to alleviate pressure on their increasingly overstretched services, the question of how the NHS can drive prosperity in local areas is an increasingly important one.

Read the full overview here

Read the full report here

Introducing competition to the health sector should be treated with caution

Duckett, S. The Conversation. Published online: 5 December 2016


The terms “privatisation”, “competition” and “pro-competitive” reforms have many meanings. At one end of a continuum, competition could simply mean providing more information to general practitioners to help them with referrals. Further along the continuum, one could see enhanced ability of patients to choose among public providers. A more radical approach would be to allow choice between public and private providers.

Competition can enhance quality in normal markets, but health markets don’t always follow the same rules. A recent report, which looked at the impact of competition and consumer-choice reforms in England on quality of care for elective procedures, found quality of care for hip and knee replacement appeared to fall. But quality for coronary bypass patients was not affected (either positively or negatively).

Read the full article here

Market Structure, Patient Choice and Hospital Quality for Elective Patients

Moscelli, G. et al. (2016) CHE Research Paper 139


Image source: CHE

This paper examines the change in the effect of market structure on hospital quality for elective procedures (hip and knee replacements, and coronary artery bypass grafts) following the 2006 loosening of restrictions on patient choice of hospital in England.

We allow for time-varying endogeneity due to the effect of unobserved patient characteristics on patient choice of hospital using Two Stage Residual Inclusion. We find that the change in the effect of market structure due to the 2006 choice reforms was to reduce quality by increasing the probability of a post-operative emergency readmission for hip and knee replacement patients. There was no effect of the choice reform on hospital quality for coronary bypass patients. We find no evidence of self-selection of patients into hospitals, suggesting that a rich set of patient-level covariates controls for differences in casemix.

Read the full paper here