A few ideas to save NHS money

I commend Alan Macdonald on his letter ('More substance, please!', SN 16/3/17). I could not agree more. It is imperative that any debate goes beyond mere rhetoric with tangible solutions offered for consideration.

Alan quite understandably asks how I would propose to save NHS money.

In response to Alan's question here are a few options that are worthy of further consideration and investigation.

  • In 2012/13 earnings for the NHS Shetland board members were as follows.
    • CEO: £100k to £105K.
    • Medical Director: £90K to £95K.
    • Director of Nursing: £80K to £85K.
    • Finance Director: £65K to £70K.
    • Director of Human Resources: £70K to £75K
    • It is not beyond the realms of possibility that NHS Shetland and NHS Orkney could retain financial autonomy and decision making allowing them to tailor services to meet individual island group needs. But with a shared resource of senior management overseeing the operations. This would render an annual saving of up to £215,000 just for these posts.
  • It has been cited that two thirds of journeys for outpatient appointments are unnecessary and could be performed by telephone or video conference. Therefore, let's end this needless, expensive and disruptive practice. Thereby saving two thirds of the travel expense.
  • Nurses accommodation at Montfield can be used to house visiting locums and specialists thereby saving expensive hotel bills. Meals can be provided from the hospital kitchen thereby saving expensive restaurant bills.
  • Administrative tasks can be pooled without the need of medical secretaries allocated to a specific clinician or department.
  • Administrative functions such as management information, management accounts, Freedom of Information responses can be done via a shared resource with another health board potentially Grampian as currently happens with pay role.

I hope this goes some way to answering Alan's legitimate question.

John Fraser
17 North Road
Lerwick
Shetland Islands Council candidate (Lerwick North)

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