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.

Budget 2018: what it means for health and social care

November 2018

This joint briefing with the Health Foundation, The King's Fund and Nuffield Trust looks at the detail within the 2018 Budget.

Health and Social Care Sustainability Research Centre

18 October 2018

This a new specialist unit within the Health Foundation that will work with a network of external academic partners to produce independent projections, research and analysis, strongly rooted in robust...

A new frontier

24 September 2018

Anita Charlesworth blogs about the establishment of a new centre to provide independent projections, research and analysis to help ensure the long-term sustainability of health and social care in the ...

Applying best-in-class analytics to a whole-system approach to managing knee problems

Improvement project

This project will involve using a best-in-class approach to improving patient outcomes and service efficiency across the joint pain and elective care pathway, with analysts, managers and practitioners...

What is the future of emergency and urgent care?

30 May 2018

There is no doubt that the emergency medicine brand is a hugely successful one – and one which has become a victim of its own success. This leads to challenges in meeting the demands being placed on s...

How has the productivity of UK health care changed between 1997 and 2015?

27 April 2018

April 2018 Chart of the Month. Between 1997 and 2015, productivity across the UK NHS grew by 16%, at an average of around 1% per year.

What do changes in readmission rates tell us about quality of care in the NHS?

27 April 2018

At a time at which patients being admitted to hospital are presenting with greater complexity than previous years, hospital readmissions have increased. What does this tell us about the quality of car...

What can the US and England learn from each other’s health system reforms?

6 April 2018

What can the US and England learn from each other’s health system reforms? Harkness Fellow Adam Briggs and colleagues explore some common themes.

National Audit Office report highlights too many hospitals are living hand to mouth

Press release
19 January 2018

The Health Foundation has responded to a National Audit Office report into sustainability and transformation in the NHS.

Webinar: Understanding and using the Patient Activation Measure in the NHS

19 December 2017

This webinar may be useful to commissioners and people with an interest in self-management.

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