Efficiency and productivity A long-term, continuous focus on efficiency and productivity is essential to ensure health care quality


The sustainability of the NHS and social care system is likely to become an even bigger issue in coming years, given funding constraints, increasing demand, workforce shortages and variation in the quality and productivity of care.

Our work on efficiency and productivity aims to help NHS and social care services to become more sustainable. We look at whether health care resources are being used to get the best value for money, and identify ways that productivity of services and workforce can be improved.

Our recent work and content on this topic is listed below.

How can unnecessary outpatient appointments be reduced?

29 January 2020

Outpatient hospital appointments have nearly doubled since 2007/08 to 120 million a year, with the proportion of unattended appointments now standing at 22%. What can be done?

Improving labour productivity in primary care: the role of skill mix, technology and patients

Research project

Project that is aiming to define an accurate measure of labour productivity in primary care and to identify its determinants, including workforce skill mix, technology and patient characteristics.

Urgent need to address systematic failings and stabilise the social care sector in England

Press release
30 August 2019

Health Foundation response to Age UK report, ‘The Health and Care of Older People in England 2019’.

PathAnalyse: Towards the redesign of outpatient services using visual process analytics

Improvement project

This project will use analytics from PathAnalyse to support senior staff to understand current processes, and identify scenarios that negatively impact patient experience and resource efficiency.

From data to decisions: embedding a Real-world Intervention Causal Evaluation (RICE) tool in the decision-making process

Improvement project

This project will develop a Real-world Intervention Causal Evaluation (RICE) tool, which will semi automate the process of intervention evaluation and significantly enhance analytical capability.

Retention of the clinical and ambulance workforce in English NHS hospitals

Research project

Project that will carry out research into what drives hospital workforce retention, and its changes over time and across organisations and clinical specialties, and what the causal effects of improvin...

RoMHS (Retention of Mental Health Staff)

Research project

Research project to investigate variation in, and determinants of, mental health care staff retention, with the aim of better understanding how organisational contexts and the experiences of registere...

Quantifying health workers’ retention in primary care, its variability and association with outcomes

Research project

Research project examining how retention of GPs and nurses has changed over time, and mapping its regional variability, using databases of routinely collected administrative data.

Retention and sustainability of social care workforce (RESSCW)

Research project

Project to investigate the factors influencing low staff retention in UK social care, with the aim of improving understanding of the organisational and individual drivers of care staff retention, and ...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more