Managing high value capital equipment in the NHS in England – 25 October 2011

Posted on October 25, 2011. Filed under: Health Technology Assessment, Radiology |

MPs report on high value equipment in the NHS  – 25 October 2011
House of Commons, Public Account Committee

“The Commons Public Accounts Committee publishes it fifty third report of Session 2010-12, on the basis of evidence from the Department of Health.

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said:

“High value equipment in the NHS – like MRI and CT scanners – is worth around £1 billion, but the way this equipment is bought and used is not providing value for money for the taxpayer.

We were shocked by the unacceptable response times for certain conditions. A modern NHS should not allow 50% of people who have a stroke to wait more than 24 hours for a scan. There are unacceptable variations between trusts in the number of scans per machine, from 7,800 to almost 22,000 a year; opening hours and waiting times.

The Department of Health has got to look at how machines can be used more efficiently to make the best use of scarce resources.

Not enough trusts are taking full advantage of the framework agreements the NHS Supply Chain negotiates. Even where they do, money is being wasted because trusts don’t join together to buy equipment and get the best deals by exploiting their bulk buying power.

The Department of Health is accountable for securing value for money in health spending but has no way of getting trusts to work together or tell them how to buy their equipment.

At a time when the NHS has to make £20 billion of savings, it is unacceptable that money is being wasted.

The Department must set out how it is going to drive value for money in a devolved world where every trust is an independent foundation trust not answerable to the Department.

… continues on the site

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