Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Hunt: Sale of NHS estates could fund primary care

The health secretary has said that the Government will consider using money from the sale of NHS estates to fund primary care.

In a keynote speech to at the King’s Fund Annual Conference today, Jeremy Hunt also announced that CCGs will need to analyse how much they are spending on conditions on a cost per patient basis, to look at how to best make savings.

He outlined how the NHS was going to save up to £10bn from the NHS budget through measures including minimising prescribing errors and cutting down on the wastage of unused drugs.

Mr Hunt cited improved use of technology within the NHS as a key way of saving between £7bn and £10bn by 2020, adding that technology should not be seen as ‘costly extras’, and that it should be placed centre-stage to ‘raise standards, improve access to care and ensure the NHS is financially sustainable for the future’.

The sale of surplus land and estates would bring in at least £1.5bn which could go to providing care in the community, he said.

He added: ‘In many areas of the country the NHS owns buildings and land that’s no longer required, and care is increasingly delivered in the community or people’s homes.

‘There is huge potential for that land to be used better by NHS primary care facilities, or indeed housing and schools, whilst at the same time reducing NHS overheads, and generating cash for reinvestment in NHS service.’

He outlined ten areas in which the Government thinks money can be saved as part of the next stage of the NHS’s Five Year Forward View:

  • Reducing avoidable harm (up to £2.5billion a year);
  • Minimising prescribing errors (£551m);
  • Cutting down wastage of unused drugs (£150m);
  • Improving procurement (£1.5bn);
  • Bringing down agency staff bills (unspecified savings);
  • Selling off surplus land and estates (at least £1.5bn);
  • Ensuring visitors and migrants make ‘fair contribution’ for health services (£500m by 2017);
  • Reducing administration costs (£300m in 2015/16);
  • Reducing spend on management consultants (£500m a year);
  • Making better use of IT to free up time for front line staff (unspecified savings).

The sale of surplus land and estates would bring in at least £1.5bn which could go to providing care in the community, he said.

He added: ‘In many areas of the country the NHS owns buildings and land that’s no longer required, and care is increasingly delivered in the community or people’s homes.

‘There is huge potential for that land to be used better by NHS primary care facilities, or indeed housing and schools, whilst at the same time reducing NHS overheads, and generating cash for reinvestment in NHS service.’

As part of co-commissioning, CCGs would be instructed by NHS England to look into how much the care of conditions were costing on a per patient basis.

He said: ‘Today I can announce, as part of a step towards becoming accountable care organisations, all CCGs will be asked by NHS England, with support from HSCIC, to collect and analyse expenditure on a per patient basis.

‘CCGs will then, as co-commissioners of primary and specialist care with NHS England, and co-commissioners of social care, and potentially public health with local authorities, be able to pinpoint more clearly where there is the greatest  potential to improve patient outcomes, by reducing avoidable costs through more innovative use of preventative measures.’

The health secretary’s focus on IT come in the wake of the publication of the NHS National Information Board’s report, Personalised Health & Care 2020, which outlines the Government’s vision for future NHS IT systems.

The report lays out how patients will have full digital access to all their records through NHS Choices by 2018, and how the CQC will regulate the quality of record-keeping from April 2016.

In line with his previous pledge to have achieved a paperless NHS by 2018, Mr Hunt is expected to hold up shared electronic health records as a ‘revolution in prevention’, citing their use as a way of enabling personalised, responsive and joined-up care.

 

Take Pulse’s November survey

Samsung HD TV - win - online

Take Pulse’s November survey and you could win a Samsung Smart HDTV worth £230.

This multi-topic survey covers a range of areas, from contract negotiations to practice closures, and burnout to dementia policy.

 

 

 

Readers' comments (13)

  • Making savings has got harder.they have picked the low hanging fruit(wage bill).I think Mr Hunt is deluded if he thinks he can keep doing this and try doing the above.Iwould make a sound bet he will fail.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Something must be done to make this work.
    This is something.
    Therefore we must do it.
    Therefore it will work.

    Can't fault the man's logic...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    Interesting , the tone and emphasis is completely different to Simon Said the other day. Who are you to believe ? Neither .

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ha ha, the wheel comes around yet again. I heard this speech 4 years ago, 8 years ago, 12 years ago, 16 years ago. In fact probably more often than that. Every Secy State for health makes this speech on a regular basis. It has never worked and it won't work again.

    Mr Hunt, I have a brilliant plan to save not just £150million but £billions on wasted drugs. Make everybody pay a prescription charge, say £5, no exceptions no excuses. That would put an immediate halt to the great many who collect and hoard and never take their free prescriptions yet carry on collecting them as it's their "right" and its "free"

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 12.38 Mr Hunt is not deluded, on the contrary he knows this plan hasn't the remotest chance of success -he has clearly kept this one up his sleeve and choose to release the grand strategy now to deflect the anticipated criticism of NHS under-funding as we look ahead to the next election.
    Indeed perhaps Mr Lamb's recent announcement may have been instrumental in the timing of this release of a counter strategy?
    The real plan which one surmises is to gradually replace GMS with private sector or large NHS trust providers is clear -the chosen method is asphyxia by slow financial strangulation whilst heaping extra work and regulation on the corpse of the GMS body whist it turns blue.
    All the while awarding more generous contracts to APMS and other providers to facilitate their takeover of GMS.
    Also deflecting blame and distracting the public by announcing bold pseudo initiatives such as the latest IT grand plan and financial savings plan.
    RIP GMS practice and the NHS as we all knew it.
    Welcome to US style managed care organisations.
    Will there be improved quality and cost-effectiveness and indeed equity of healthcare provision?
    I for one very much doubt it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Reducing administration costs.... cant wait for that one to be implemented.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "to pinpoint more clearly where there is the greatest potential to improve patient outcomes, by reducing avoidable costs"
    ...straight out of George Orwells 1984...it's double speak!...reducing costs improves care... does it Mr Hunt? How exactly?
    Less is more

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • in reply to 5.50pm
    I went blue in the face arguing with dreamy socialist colleagues about how the "free NHS" of Atlee lasted about 3 years when even the Labour Marxists were forced to acknowledge a little thing called human nature and started charging for the "shilling scripts" c.1950.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • hunt will walk into to practices that partners have bought through the mortgages they have got, he will take the practices owned by partners that they have worked hard and saved hard to invest in and will take them off them,. In an act of "generosity" hunt wil lcharge a high rate of rent for the priviledge of working. It will be like when stalin took the farms from the farmers,i don't think jo public would like it if the government took their homes away after saving hard, but they will like the idea of general practice being run by the state

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • to echo one comment, everybody over 16 should pay a contribution for each item, no exceptions. say 50p, which would hopefully be enough to stop people ordering unnecessarily, If people needed financial assistant to pay for a number of items this should come from another source

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say