NHS Chief Executive David Nicholson today thanked NHS staff for their hard work improving care for patients this year, including reducing healthcare associated infections and waiting times, and extending GP opening hours.
Launching his third annual report at the annual NHS Chief Executive's Conference, Mr Nicholson said that while the NHS had delivered what it said it would over the year, it had to go further and faster to improve the quality of services for patients.
The NHS has 11% growth in funding over the next two years, which will be locked in on recurring basis, but would need to prepare for leaner times after that. This meant the NHS would need to deliver efficiency savings in the order of £15 billion over the three years after 2011, to address pressures in the system, and this can only be achieved through the improvements in quality and advances in innovation envisaged in the Next Stage Review.
Mr Nicholson said the leadership of the NHS had delivered on what they had promised for patients in 2008/09 and he was confident that they would continue to deliver improvements in the future.
Speaking at the conference, Mr Nicholson said:
"We have the opportunity to shape our own future by focusing our efforts on organising the system around the delivery of high quality care. The Next Stage Review has mobilised managers and clinicians around the shared ambition to improve quality for patients.
"Evidence from other countries and industries has shown us that improving quality and productivity needs to be linked by innovation driving sustained improvements across the system. That is what we have done to tackle HCAIs, both saving patients lives and saving the NHS £75 million.
"Focusing on innovation to drive quality and productivity will be our main focus this year."