Carter report is not the last word on NHS costs or funding, says MiP

Fri 05 Feb 2016

The union for senior healthcare managers responds to the final report of the Carter Review

The union for senior healthcare managers, Managers in Partnership, today welcomed the final report of the Carter review as helpful but warned it could not bridge the funding gap of health and care services. The union also expressed fears that the review could lead to the loss of valuable management skills and capacity, precisely at the time they are needed to implement other efficiency measures.

Responding to Lord Carter’s recommendations, MiP chief executive Jon Restell, said:

‘There is more cost that can be taken from NHS activity but even if Lord Carter is right about everything and his recommendations are wildly successful it will only plug a relatively small part of the funding gap of NHS services identified by NHS England.’

‘Furthermore, we can’t hold hospitals responsible for the collapse of social care funding, a problem that brings ever more people into hospital every day. ’

‘We strongly support Carter’s call for a national people strategy. This is missing from the mix. Among other things, the strategy needs to rebuild trust and confidence among managers and leaders that they have achievable jobs and that their work is valued.

‘Managers experience bullying and harassment as much as other NHS staff.  Action to reduce the prevalence of bullying must start at the top with ministers and the Department of Health and tackle bullying everywhere in the system.’

‘Carter has rightly described efficiency as a management challenge and the NHS will need its managers to deliver his recommendations. The management of the NHS is already very lean so it is imperative that the recommendation on administration costs does not lead to losses of valuable management skills and capacity.’

‘It’s worrying that there is no convincing rationale for setting 6% as cap on the administration costs of a hospital, and the report says nothing to support the view that outsourcing corporate services would give value for money. The back office offers essential support for frontline staff caring for patients.’

‘Managers welcome the recommendations and associated data as helping to start a conversation about where costs can be reduced. But the review is not the last word on benchmark costs and variation, and it should not be taken as a hard and fast judgement on complex systems and costs. Targets based on it should be set with extreme caution.’


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