Innovating out of the recession in the NHS

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Knowledge Transfer

Wednesday 28 October 2009
Chair: Professor Howard Glennerster -  LSE Professor Emeritus of Social Administration and Co-Director of CASE (Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion) Speakers:


Despite promises of Government protection, the NHS is likely to face relatively severe budgetary pressures after many years of generous growth. There are a wide range of initiatives being undertaken by NHS regulators, the Department of Health, individual trusts and the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

Firstly, Jim Easton, who took up his new post as the NHS National Director for Improvement and Efficiency in June, will look at the NHS's greater focus on quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (the QIPP Programme). The aim of this focus is to allow the NHS to drive up quality whilst improving productivity, here innovation is key.

Then, Steve Barnett the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation will discuss the challenges facing the NHS in a changing economic and budgetary climate, and what some responses might be.

Patrick Dunleavy will report some new LSE Public Policy Group research on the foundations for innovation in NHS trusts. The research looks at how well-developed are trusts' managerial efforts and how good is their ICT provision, using systematic data gathered by web-census methods. Putting in place good IT systems and being able to manage their operations well is likely to be an important foundation for Trust's ability, over a period of financial restrictions, to make significant costs savings, and improving service levels and effectiveness. This will also enable them to fully exploit the potential of new digital technologies, which can significantly transform the way healthcare is provided.

Speaker details:

  • Jim Easton has been an executive in the English NHS for over 20 years and is currently National Director for Improvement and Efficiency for the NHS, responsible for driving measurable improvements in service quality and productivity through the system. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of NHS South Central, responsible for all health services for 5 million people in the South of England. Before that Jim was the Chief Executive of York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which had excellent ratings in national performance assessment and was independently assessed as a top 40 UK Hospital four years in a row.
  • Steve Barnett was appointed as the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation in February 2009 after being the acting Chief Executive for ten months. Prior to this he led the work of NHS Employers representing NHS organisations in England on workforce issues. He joined the NHS Confederation from the Home Office where he was senior director of human resources. The NHS Confederation represents more than 95% of the organisations that make up the NHS including special health authorities and strategic health authorities in England; trusts and local health boards in Wales; and health and social service trusts and boards in Northern Ireland. At this year's NHS Confederation Conference Steve Barnett told delegates that the NHS was facing a "make or break" moment in its history.
  • Patrick Dunleavy is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at the London School of Economics. He is Chair of the LSE Public Policy Group. His research interests are around e-government, how government communicates with citizens, electoral reform and citizen redress. His latest publications include (with Helen Margetts, Simon Bastow and Jane Tinkler), Digital Era Governance: IT Corporations, the State and E-government (Oxford University Press, Revised paperback edition, 2008).
  • Howard Glennerster is Professor Emeritus of Social Administration at the London School of Economics, where he has taught since 1968. He holds various advisory positions to government. He is Co-Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at LSE and Co-Chair of the Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines. He is the author of several books and numerous academic articles on subjects such as the economics and finance of health education and long term care and other aspects of social welfare.