NHS efficiency map

Emma Knowles

12 April 2019


The HFMA, NHS Improvement and NHS England have worked in partnership to update and revise the NHS efficiency map. The map is a tool that promotes best practice in identifying, delivering and monitoring cost improvement programmes (CIPs) and quality, innovation, production and prevention (QIPP) schemes in the NHS. The map contains links to a range of tools and guidance to help NHS bodies improve their efficiency.

The national focus on improving efficiency and productivity will mean taking local action to deliver savings remains a priority for all NHS organisations. Aimed at NHS finance directors and their teams and other NHS staff with an interest in the delivery of CIPs and QIPP schemes, the purpose of the NHS efficiency map is to highlight existing resources on eliminating waste, increasing efficiency and at the same time improving quality and safety.

The map is split into three sections: enablers for efficiency, service efficiency and system efficiency. The map highlights the successes some NHS organisations have had in delivering specific efficiency schemes and provides sign-posts to existing tools and reference materials.

As part of a strengthened efficiency and productivity programme, the NHS long term plan identified ten priority areas of focus in order to reduce waste and increase time to care over the next two years. For each of the areas, there is assistance within the NHS efficiency map:

  1. Clinical workforce – see chapter 7 covering optimal use of workforce, or chapter 8 focusing on clinical workforce
  2. Procurement – chapter 11 looks at improved category management, collaboration and the GS1 standard
  3. Pathology and clinical imaging networks – chapter 9 focuses on clinical support services and includes the pathology networks toolkit and identifies a case study of one CCGs pathology savings
  4. Community health services, mental health and primary care – chapter 22, prevention and self-care, includes a number of resources to help avoid hospital admissions, while chapter 10 covering clinical quality and efficiency includes a case study on redesigning mental health services
  5. Prescribing/medicines – chapter 9, clinical support services, highlights two case studies relating to pharmacy support and also the biosimilars commissioning framework
  6. Administrative costs – see chapter 13 on corporate services
  7. Estates and equipment – chapter 12 covers a range of estates tool kits and further reading, while chapter 6 identifies a number of resources to make best use of digital technology
  8. Clinical effectiveness – see chapter 10 on clinical quality and efficiency and also chapter 14 covering productive series
  9. Patient safety – again an area covered within chapter 10, clinical quality and efficiency
  10. Counter fraud – chapter 4, controls and reporting, identifies a number of resources available to help organisations review their key controls.

The map will continue to be updated as new tools and case studies are produced.

The HFMA case studies produced to date are:

Case study: Theatres reporting and utilisation – April 2019

Case study: Aligned incentive contract – April 2019

Case study: Dedicated ward pharmacy support – April 2019

Case study: Ambulance fuel - January 2018

Case study: Redesigning mental health services - December 2017

Case study: Reshaping cancer care - December 2017

Case study: eProcurement - December 2017

Case study: Developing online services - December 2017

Case study: Engaging staff with the efficiency agenda - September 2017

Case study: Theatre management - May 2017

Case study: Saving on printing costs - March 2017

Case study: Patient blood management - March 2017

Case study: Turning around procurement function - January 2017

Case study: Managing cost improvement programmes - January 2017

Case study: Improving arrangements for enhanced nursing care - December 2016


Last updated: April 2019


NHS efficiency map

April 2019 (PDF 629KB)