Interim Partners

January 04, 2011 01:16 ET

Interim NHS Managers Sceptical on Government's Plans

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 4, 2011) - More than three-quarters of interim NHS managers believe the Government's plans to put GPs in charge of NHS budgets will fail to cut costs.

Interim Partners, one of the country's leading providers of interim managers for the NHS, reported that 76% of its managers believe that Health Minister Andrew Lansley's plans will fail.

"There was widespread scepticism among our managers," said Steve Melber, senior consultant at Interim. "While it was generally agreed that there was plenty of money to be saved in the NHS, our managers didn't think the Government was going about it in the right way."

The general consensus among the managers Interim surveyed was that the NHS could find £15-20b of savings without affecting the delivery of essential services. "Our managers see a lot of fat that could be trimmed," said Melber, "But they don't think the GPs have the management skills to do it."

Interim's managers were more enthusiastic about plans to open up the NHS to other care providers. "78% of our managers were in favour of this," commented Melber. "Many of them think letting the NHS compete for patients with private providers will drive up the standard of care."

According to a speaker at the recent NHS Employers Conference, the Government's plans for the NHS will be 'the biggest management of change exercise in the world.' "There's a huge opportunity to make savings," said Melber, quoting a report in the Health Services Journal which suggested that £1b could be saved simply by merging back office functions in the NHS. "Our managers have been suggesting that for years," he said. "And we have to question whether the GPs have the same level of management expertise."

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