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NHS needs to save £15 million a day

The NHS needs to save £15 million a day – from yesterday – to grapple with the scale of the financial challenge that lies ahead, Practical Commissioning has been told.

The NHS needs to save £15 million a day – from yesterday – to grapple with the scale of the financial challenge that lies ahead, Practical Commissioning has been told.

NAPC president, Dr James Kingsland, attended a recent DH meeting to discuss the NHS ‘productivity challenge' and said a multi-million pound ‘back of a fag packet' figure was bandied around on how much needs to be saved every day ‘from yesterday'.

Dr Kinglsand, who is also the DH's national PBC clinical network lead, told Practical Commissioning his own calculation was that it was £15 million a day from now to make the £20 billion reduction required by 2014.

Dr Kingsland stressed the figure was not being used to draw plans around but to focus minds in the meeting and give attendees a ‘reality check' on the impact of what the forthcoming years will mean.

‘We've got to have high impact on a daily basis if we've got to find £15 million of savings a day.'

He added: ‘Cash releasing schemes such as PBC have got to be supported.'

Speaking at the recent NHS Alliance conference, Dr Kingsland, said: ‘PBC is here to stay. If it doesn't work plan B is a service that isn't free at the point of access.'

NHS chief executive, David Nicholson, also spoke of politicians questioning the sustainability of a service free at the point of access if the NHS doesn't rise to the ‘enormous' challenge ahead.

He added charging to access the service is ‘to me is where madness lies'.

In his conference speech NHS Alliance chair, Dr Mike Dixon, said it was time to be more ‘bullish' about what primary care can do.

‘Primary care can no longer be ignored. We are now key to survival in challenging times.' He added primary care was ‘the answer' to creating a more cost effective, fairer and healthier NHS.

And in his speech, health minister Mike O'Brien agreed primary care held the key to the success of the NHS.

‘You are the ones who make the millions of daily decisions that determine the quality of patient care and the use of NHS resources. You know where we can eliminate waste and inefficiency and where we can put resources to better use. And you are the ones closest to the patient.'

NAPC president Dr James Kingsland NAPC president Dr James Kingsland

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