Patients are key to improving NHS care and lowering costs

Patients are key to improving NHS care

With the NHS facing a funding deficit of up to £2bn for the next financial year and helping patients to become more active partners in their care will be essential for creating more cost effective healthcare, according to a new report launched by KPMG today.

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The global report - What Works: Creating new value with patients, carers and communities examines how existing models of care fail to engage patients sufficiently, which can result in over-diagnosis, over-treatment and increased costs.

The report goes beyond simply making the case for change and explores the different ways this shift towards a far more patient-centred approach can practically be achieved. From involving patients in service design, to providing them with better and more relevant information, the report sets out a practical nine-part framework to help healthcare organisations realise the value that can be achieved through the roles of patients, carers and communities.

“Too often, the delivery of healthcare is structured more according to organisational structures and boundaries than the needs of the patient. Supporting patients and their carers in becoming active participants in their own care will not only lead to better outcomes that are more relevant to the patient, it also has the potential to create far more cost-effective models of care,” says Dr. Mark Britnell, chairman of KPMG’s Global health practice. “The benefit of this is by no means marginal. Independent analysis suggests that the most activated patients cost between 8% and 21% less.[1]”

Andrew Hine, UK head of healthcare at KPMG comments, “The provision of healthcare in the UK cannot continue in its current format – patients’ needs must be put first. The system is missing the opportunity to work with patients and their wider networks and communities to improve the care it offers and to do so more cost-effectively. We need to see that providing patients with the additional tools and information they need to manage and direct their own care is not a cost or a luxury but an investment in better quality care and in reduced costs elsewhere in the system.”

Increasing use of patient communities

Social media is also creating new patient communities that are an under-utilized resource. New applications, such as ‘iWantGreatCare’ in the UK, are being used by patients to share information and experiences, with over 80,000 reviews being added every month. This is vital information that clinicians and managers alike should be using to create higher-quality care at better value.”

First in a series of reports looking to change the sector’s mindset globally

This report is the first in a series to be launched by KPMG looking at the crucial changes in mindset and capability that these health systems and healthcare organisations around the world need to deliver. The reports in the What Works series will go beyond simply making the case for change and will look practically at how organisations can make these transformational changes a reality.

Dr. Britnell concludes: Now is the time to move on from simply supporting the ideology of patient-driven care, to finding the practical solutions that will allow patients themselves to be at the heart of creating better health outcomes more cost-effectively.”


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For further information, contact:

Ann Burton, KPMG Press Office

T: 020 7311 6497

M: 07467 339 719


KPMG Press Office: 020 7694 8773


About the report

What Works: Creating more value with patients, carers and communities is a new report from KPMG’s Global Healthcare Practice, arguing that the sector has to become more patient-centered and shift its focus from therapies to broader health and wellbeing. The report goes further than simply making the case for more patient-centered care and outlines a practical framework that gives health systems and providers insight into how they go about achieving this. Featuring a number of insightful real-life examples from around the world, the report suggests that greater engagement with patients, families and communities can increase self-management, improve value, safety and quality and significantly reduce costs.

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.[1] Hibbard J H, Greene J, Overton V (2013) ‘Patients with lower activation associated with higher costs; delivery systems should know their patients’ “scores”.’ Health Affairs, 32, no (2013): 216-22

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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