he National Health Service (NHS) needs to save £15billion to £20 billion over the next few years. This paperargues that these savings could be achieved throughradical patient–centred service redesign and more effectiveapproaches to public behaviour change. However, theseapproaches are difﬁcult to develop within the existing healthservice. NESTA’s experience of working with leading companiesand developing projects in healthcare demonstrates that radicalnew ways of innovating that give genuine power to frontlinestaff, patients and the public are necessary to make theseapproaches widespread. This would unlock the savings we needand improve the nation’s health.
Efﬁciencies are necessary – but not sufﬁcient
Given the scale of the challenge to restore the public ﬁnancesto order, the policy debate has focused on making savings inpublic services. The NHS – the world’s largest public service –is not exempt from this. Despite strong support for the healthservice across the political spectrum, saving money is going tobe critical because of increasing costs and rising demand. TheNHS has been geared towards growth. Now it must be radicallyrefocused on doing more for less.Yet the general limitation of many proposals to save money isthat they assume essentially unchanged services – doing thesame thing, only trying to do it more cheaply – rather thanfocusing on the far–reaching reforms that can unlock the muchmore signiﬁcant savings we now need.