Thursday, 13 January 2011 00:00
Newton Europe’s Healthcare Business Manager Ed Burns was this week invited by the BBC to comment on issues relating to consultant’s overtime payments following a Freedom of Information investigation into NHS Trusts’ spending of these payments by the broadcaster. Newton Europe was approached by the BBC because of our leading reputation in supporting Trusts in looking for cost efficiencies in such key areas as operating theatres.
Whilst Newton Europe does not have any issue over the accuracy of the story, we do believe it has focussed on only one aspect of what is a major challenge for many hospital Trusts in the NHS.
We believe the focus should be on patients and not on consultants; Trusts must work on their capacity planning and theatre efficiencies to improve the quality of patient care and reduce the need for these payments. If consultants did not volunteer for overtime (often known as WLI’s - waiting list initiatives) then the NHS and patients would suffer because they are a key part in controlling waiting times. Trusts have an opportunity to take a more sophisticated approach to productivity and efficiency improvement and with the growing pressures in the healthcare economy this will become ever more important.