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NHS spending plan is good for patients

The NHS in Bury is prioritising its spend in areas that will make a real difference to patients’ lives, according to a new report.

Bury has been highlighted in the Dr. Foster Hospital Guide 2013, due to be published on Monday, as an area which is managing the way it commissions (or buys) services well. The report highlights that NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is prioritising its budget to fund planned procedures that will offer the best health outcomes for patients, over those that offer marginal results.

The Dr. Foster Hospital Guide aims to provide an independent assessment of NHS hospitals, highlighting variations in care and celebrating success within the NHS.

Within the 2013 report due to be published on Monday, data suggests that NHS Bury CCG has been prioritising it’s spend on planned procedures wisely, focusing on funding effective planned hospital procedures that offer good results for patients such as knee and hip replacements and cataract surgery; over procedures which offer less effective results.    Procedures which are nationally deemed as having a ‘low clinical value’ include grommets (a treatment for glue ear) and knee flushes (a procedure to remove damaged tissue). In many cases, there are alternative more beneficial and longer lasting solutions available to manage these types of conditions, often closer to home and without the need for hospital treatment.

Planned surgery for hip replacements have more than doubled in Bury over the past decade (120 procedures in 2002, compared to 250 in 2012).  Knee replacements have increased by a similar rate over the past decade (136 procedures in 2002, compared to 285 in 2012), whilst cataract surgeries have also risen on average over the past 10 years.

The CCG puts some of its successful planning down to the former Primary Care Trust (PCT) which put in place mechanisms to restore financial balance back in 2010.  This process involved rolling out more robust processes to monitor the appropriateness of referrals for hospital procedures.  The CCG also highlights close working relationships between the whole health and social care economy, and successful public information campaigns focusing on appropriate use of services, as its strengths.

Dr. Kiran Patel, local GP and Chair/Clinical Lead of NHS Bury CCG said: “We have the challenging job of prioritising our spend, and it is really important that we do this in such a way that it will do the most good.  By its nature, there is a limit on how much we can manage our spend on emergency care, but it is planned care where we can really try and make a difference in improving efficiency.”

“By prioritising the money we spend on planned care into operations that will make a real long lasting difference to people’s lives; over those where the results are marginal, we can secure high quality and effective services that offer good health outcomes for our patients and the best value for money.  I am delighted that Bury has been highlighted as spending its money wisely in these areas, but we are not complacent, there is always more to do and this will be an on going challenge and priority for the CCG.”

Dr. Roger Prudham, deputy medical director at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Fairfield General Hospital, added:  “Our doctors, nurses, health professionals and managers within Pennine Acute Trust have long been aware that we work as part of an evolving healthcare landscape.  We have worked closely with our local GPs and partners including Bury CCG to gain a clear understanding of what our commissioners and ultimately our patients require of us.  We have a strong track record of managing change to meet changing demands and increasing expectation.  One result is the focus on providing services for which evidence is strong that we can have a positive impact on patients and their long term outcomes.  Another is that we have seen sustained success in managing important outcomes such as mortality and hospital acquired infections, which now stand at an all time low in our Trust, albeit with work still to do.  We have achieved this by open and constructive dialogue with our commissioners, colleagues in primary care and our staff, but also importantly and increasingly with our patients. This means that we can meet not only the needs of our current health economy, but also the future needs of our patients as priorities, expectation and technology continue to change.“

Roger Taylor, Head of Research at  Dr Foster said: "It's great to see that, with budgets under pressure, Bury are making sure more money goes on effective care and less is spent on things avoidable or unnecessary treatments."


Date: 7th December 2013

FOR PRESS & MEDIA ENQUIRIES: contact Caroline Dearden, Communications and Engagement Manager on 0161 762 3106 or email buccg.communications@nhs.net  

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