The NHS could increase productivity in elective care significantly and cut the length of time patients spend in hospital, if it takes up recommendations in research by Monitor.
The regulator has set out a series of practical steps that hospitals can take to improve clinical outcomes and reduce the amount of money spent on Ophthalmology and Orthopaedic services by between 13% and 20%.
The research, developed with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the British Orthopaedic Association, has looked into the efficiency and productivity of elective services at a range of NHS providers, as well as at 5 international centres.
A result of close collaboration with providers, the report and its detailed appendices describe where and how elective teams can concentrate their efforts to maximise quality and efficiency, from first consultation to follow-up after operations. The results include benefits for patients, such as shorter hospital stays.
Monitor intends to do further work with foundation trusts to support providers in the implementation of the recommendations in the report.