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Departmental Cost Effectiveness

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what efficiency savings projects (a) his Department and (b) its agencies put in place under the Operational Efficiency Programme; on what date each such project was initiated; how much each such project was expected to contribute to departmental savings; how much had been saved through each such project on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (300935)

The Department is working actively with its arm’s-length bodies, national health service organisations and others including HM Treasury and the Shareholder Executive to implement the recommendations of the Operational Efficiency Programme. Rather than initiating new projects, in many areas this builds upon significant progress made by the Department and the NHS in recent years.

For example, NHS Shared Business Services was established in 2005 and is now delivering shared back office services for over 100 NHS organisations.

Through better collaborative procurement, the NHS has recorded billions of pounds of savings in recent years, including through the Gershon efficiency programme. To ensure continued progress on procurement, a new Department of Health and NHS Commercial Operating Model was launched earlier this year.

Savings from the areas covered by the Operational Efficiency Programme will contribute to our existing value for money target for the current comprehensive spending review period. The Department's 2009 autumn performance report will be published in December and will include an update on progress towards this target.