GK Transformation were asked to assist the King's Lynn & Wisbech Hospitals NHS Trust (now known as The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn NHS Trust) to identify and then assist with the implementation of cost saving measures in excess of £1m per annum.
After carrying out a preliminary scoping exercise, our Transformation Team and King's Lynn & Wisbech Hospitals NHS Trust agreed to focus on:
Hospital services (laundry, transport)
Hotel services (cleaning, portering, catering)
Private patient income
Purchased goods and services
Accident & Emergency
Supplies purchasing department.
Following a review period of 4–5 months, working very closely with the managers and staff responsible for these areas, a total of 93 options were identified for reducing costs and increasing income.
The Trust's executive management team plus the managers responsible for the selected areas spent a full day considering the options presented and deciding upon which to pursue. In total these options presented potential recurring savings of £1.7–2.1m plus non-recurring savings options of between £1.4m and £1.8m, enabling the Trust a fair degree of choice in terms of which options to pursue.
Having selected sufficient options to progress, a period of intense internal and external communication followed, with all key groups of stakeholders. Our Transformation Team supported this process with presentations to health authorities, PCTs, non-executive directors, medical staff groups and staff side representatives.
A period of implementation then began; in total, 71 options were taken forward.
Over the next 18 months the vast majority of these were successfully implemented with a total recurring saving of £1.2m being achieved, plus £400k of non-recurring savings.
Some examples of the schemes implemented included:
- Property sales
- Ward reconfiguration
- Ward staff skill mix changes
- Maximising day care surgery
- Reducing costs of radio-pharmaceuticals
- Standardising and tendering a range of consumables
- Introducing demand management with pathology
- Reducing establishments within finance & estates
- Reducing telephone costs and removing some lines.
Throughout the implementation process we performed a variety of roles in order to assist the delivery of the various initiatives.
Overall co-ordination, reporting and monitoring through a Project Steering Group
Assisting the delivery of individual schemes through:
- Overall coordination, reporting and monitoring through a project steering group
- Assisting the delivery of individual schemes through:
- Writing business cases
- Assisting negotiations
- Writing options papers
- Facilitating workshops
- Analysing data
- Negotiating with suppliers
- Writing tender documents
- Communicating with internal/external stakeholders.
The successful implementation of these various cost improvement measures helped the Trust to achieve a balanced budget position over the next 3–4 years. We continued to provide adhoc support to specific parts of the Trust, which were having difficulty in achieving their financial recovery plan over the following years. Green & Kassab has also provided the Trust with further ideas for reducing costs over the last 3–4 years since the completion of the main programme. These further ideas have followed from our work with other trusts and have provided some additional benefits to the Trust.