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Patient discussion

Planning for the Better Care Fund

The Better Care Fund is an innovative idea but the quality of early preparation and planning did not match the scale of the ambition. Current plans forecast £314m of savings for the NHS rather than the £1 billion in early planning assumptions.

Published:
11 Nov 2014
Report cover showing medicine

Prescribing costs in primary care

“We have found that some small changes in prescribing behaviour can lead to substantial savings for the NHS. All primary care trusts should learn from the best performing PCTs and strive to be as efficient in their own prescribing, making the £200 million in savings realistically achievable.”

Published:
18 May 2007
NAO report cover

Prescribing savings in 2008

“These findings demonstrate the extent to which GPs choosing to prescribe cheaper but just as clinically effective generic medicines can lead to real savings for the NHS. This is all the more important as the NHS’s spending on medicines continues to rise year on year, as the UK’s population ages and more and better treatments become available. The almost £400 million saved in just one year is money available to improve the quality of patient care.”

Published:
12 May 2009
Report cover showing syringes

Procurement of Vaccines by the Department of Health

“On the basis of investigation into the first procurement of smallpox vaccine by the Department of Health, we found no link between the personal donations to the Labour Party by the Chief Executive of PowderJect and the award to his company of the contract to supply the vaccine.

“However, even where national security dictates that the Department of Health cannot follow normal procurement procedures, the Department must still be as transparent as possible. There must be robust protocols for the special procurement procedures which are to be followed so that the Department can demonstrate that it has acted properly and fairly.

“Regarding shortages in the supply of vaccines, the public health consequences may be very serious indeed. The Department faces a challenge in ensuring vaccine supplies where the number of suppliers is diminishing and some suppliers enjoy a near monopoly, resulting sometimes in increased prices. The Department should define its long-term strategy for ensuring adequate vaccine supplies as a complement to its short-term handling arrangements to deal with vaccine shortages.”

Published:
9 Apr 2003
Report cover showing a doctor at work

Progress in improving the medical assessment of incapacity and disability benefits

“I am pleased that the measures taken since my last report have resulted in significant improvements, especially as this means a better service for customers, who include some of the most vulnerable members of society. It is crucial that assessments are undertaken fairly and efficiently, while ensuring that benefits are paid only to those genuinely entitled to them. I look to the Department to do more to improve the quality of evidence on which decisions are based and to tackle the problem of people failing to attend examinations.”

Published:
17 Oct 2003