A&E benchmarking will help hospitals to hit efficiency targets

Friday, 19 March, 2010

The Foundation Trust Network has launched the UK's first project to benchmark the performance of accident and emergency services. This will help NHS trusts to compare performance, and find efficient ways of working that will make better use of NHS funds.

FTN Benchmarking, run in partnership with McKinsey & Company, analyses trusts' performance on quality (clinical outcomes); cost effectiveness; and the day-to-day running of the service.

The project is timed to help trusts deliver improvements in A&E in time for winter when they will face increased pressures. It will run from May to August 2010 with a workshop in September 2010 to discuss the findings.

Focussing on A&E is particularly important. The number of patients attending A&E in England has risen by nearly 20 per cent over the five years to 2008/9 (the latest figures available), from 16.5 million to 19.6 million. Around 17 per cent of people who visit A&E are admitted as patients.

As part of the drive to curb NHS expenditure, from April 2010 hospitals will only be paid the full NHS tariff rate for emergency patients up to the level of their activity in 2008-2009. For any admissions above this number, the trust will receive just 30 per cent of the standard rate. This could mean that without making changes, an average trust would see its income reduced by £2.4 million in 2010/11.

The programme is open to all Foundation Trust Network members (both authorised and aspirant foundation trusts). Trusts interested in participating are encouraged to register by 12 April 2010 via the FTN website: www.nhsconfed.org/FTNbenchmarking

Return to news menu