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Nicholson gives political health warning on future QIPP challenge

NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson has warned the next stage of QIPP savings must be made via service changes which will require politicians to be ‘straightforward'  with the public about the rationale behind  such decisions.

Speaking at today's NHS Confederation conference he said the NHS made £5.8 billion in QIPP savings last year and was on target to do so again this year but that most of the savings had been made via national efficiency initiatives, such as reducing tariff.

He said this alone would not deliver enough savings in future years. 'The issue we're not delivering on is service change' he said.

He added:  ‘After a slow start, politicians are starting to respond and I do think politicians at all levels need to be straightforward in the need for that to change going forward.  We will do our best to do it as a system but it is quite difficult in certain circumstances to talk to the public and have that debate with the public in this country, about  a service free at the point of use, available to all but within the financial constraints. And financial constraints are not just going to happen in next two or three years but probably for as long as most of us are involved in the NHS.'