As the latest figures highlighting patient waiting times from ‘referral to treatment’ are released, Professor Hilary Thomas, a partner within KPMG’s Healthcare Advisory team welcomes the news that the majority of patients are seen within 18 weeks, but warns that demographic changes and increased demand for healthcare services will put a strain on future ability to reduce the time it takes to treat patients from the moment they are referred.
She says: “The combined effect of demographic change, increasing demand for healthcare support and changing working patterns means that there will be a shortage of healthcare professionals in the very near future. The simple answer would be to hire more people, but reality dictates that this is not possible. How can it be with workforce costs being the single largest expense in healthcare expenditure?
“Instead, it is vital that we find approaches that make best use of the time available to the current workforce. One answer is to empower our healthcare professionals so that they have the autonomy to make the decisions that support patients and drive efficiency; much better that they are given the freedom to try innovative approaches to healthcare, than follow processes which may be outdated and ineffective.
“For the past 60 years, technical, therapeutic and professional advances have revolutionised many clinical procedures. The truth, however, is that the underlying business and care models have remained largely unaltered. Yet, if patients are to benefit and see waiting times reduced, the focus must turn to the design of the clinical care process. Only if we are able to adapt healthcare at the point of delivery will we be able to meet the healthcare demands of a rapidly changing society.”
Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 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. KPMG International provides no client services.