The Business Issue facing the average NHS Trust today is the need to do “more with less“. Changing demographics – population aging, and the tendency for people to live on into old age, in a state of (expensive) ill-health, rather than dying soon after retirement, are increasing the load on the NHS. This is happening as there are increasing pressures on resources (the promised “Brexit benefit” of £350 million a day seems not to have eventuated).
This White Paper spotlights a significant cost-management opportunity for a typical UK NHS (National Health Service) trust, and one that is comparatively low risk – a “no-brainer” for cost reduction together with service level improvements. In its essentials, it is about automating Clinical Correspondence, using digital recording, sophisticated Voice Recognition, and automated Workflows (as provided, for example, by an established vendor such as Winscribe). This leads to the more efficient utilisation (redeployment or reduction) of existing human resources and considerable savings in the time of expensive consultants and medical staff. Most importantly, it presents this in the context of increasing the operational maturity level of the Trust involved, which enables a ‘capability of change’ – this relates to the idea of a Mutable Trust, one that can respond to its changing environment in near real-time. Maturity ensures that any changes made do not reduce service levels and are ‘sticky’ (i.e. are maintained into the future), and continual maturity improvement extends this ‘capability of change’ to the Trust’s operations generally.
This paper should be read by the Board of an NHS Trust and by change managers tasked with delivering cost reduction and operational improvements in the NHS. It will also be of interest to managers actually involved with delivering NHS services – it is presented with a very specific context in mind, but has a more general application.