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Productive Time Savings

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on productive time savings, as envisaged by the Gershon Review, achieved since 2003-04; and what proportion of these savings are directly attributable to products delivered through the National Programme for Information Technology. (74054)

The latest reported savings figure for productive time is £879 million at December 2005.

The Gershon report “Releasing Resources to the Front Line” identified three main contributors to front line service (productive time) efficiency—information communication technologies (ICT), process redesign and work force reform.

Our delivery strategy for this programme recognises that efficiencies are achieved by technology, process and work force changes being delivered together. The national health service uses an integrated service improvement programme (ISIP) to plan and manage service improvement. This programme is a key element of implementing the national programme for information technology (NPfIT). More information is available at

To avoid double counting, the approach to measuring most productive time benefits is based on outcome changes, for example day case rates, inpatient length of stay and emergency admission, rather than the separate contribution of ICT or work force or process change.

It is not therefore possible to determine the proportion of current or future gains attributable specifically to the NPfIT but clearly its contribution is likely to increase.

Details of our approach to productive time measurement and the specific measures used are explained in the Department’s efficiency technical note, which is available on the Department’s website at