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Andrew Lansley pledges to cut a third of NHS admin spending


Conservative health spokesman Andrew Lansley has promised that a Tory government would cut spending on NHS admin by a third.

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today, he listed the increase in NHS managers among the running costs of primary care trusts that were ripe for streamlining.

“We are determined to shift NHS funds from the back office to doctors and nurses on the front line”

Andrew Lansley

He also highlighted the running costs of strategic health authorities and the Department of Health as the top targets for cuts. The cost of NHS quangos would also be cut by a third, he said.

The Tories have calculated that the annual cost of “NHS bureaucracy” is £4.38bn.

They say this is made up of £2.14bn for PCT running costs, £1.94bn for the cost of quangos, £200m for DH running costs, and £100m for SHA running costs.

Mr Lansley said that by the end of its fourth year in power the Conservative government would have cut spending on bureaucracy by a third to £3bn a year.

He said Labour had allowed wasteful spending to spiral. A Conservative government would cut it right back.

“We are determined to shift NHS funds from the back office to doctors and nurses on the front line,” he said.

“Our tough new approach will shift £1.5bn a year out to where it’s needed most,” he added.

NHS managers have been identified in the Conservative calculations of admin cuts. They say PCT spending on managers and senior managers has increased by 43 per cent since 2003-04.

Ms Lansley told delegates that all the money saved would be invested in frontline services.

The Conservatives also say they want to “drive efficiency” in hospitals but they want to do this at a local level.

Additionally, Mr Lansley outlined 12 public commitments on the NHS, including giving patients a choice over which consultant doctor would be responsible for their care


Readers' comments (2)

  • Martin Gray

    I applaud the Conservatives for showing a positive atitude towards cutting down on the administration costs of the NHS; it's long overdue and will hopefully ensure more money is available to improve care. It is also heart-warming that they can se the benefits of returning power to clinicians for organising care rather than have target-oriented managers spending cash on idiotic initiatives.

    However I think they should be a little less keen to try and continue making public committments that may well prove impracvtical if not impossible. A good consultant or specialist may become inundated with requests for care, leading to a poorer standard of care and follow-up. It may well give the other consultants and specialists a wake up call, making them alter their practice so that they lose out on patients requesting to see them. If such professionals were paid per capita rather than a salary it may also add incentive to do so; the downside would be them taking on more patients than they can deal effectively with as they would be more mercenary in their outlook.

    Interestingly I happened to read the front page of the Sun recently ( as I waited for my take away - I certainly don't class it as a real newspaper) that they have stopped supporting labour and now favour the Conservatives for the next government. Shows how much the people have moved away from Labour!

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  • As a student nurse and former full time NA. It is refreshing and encouraging to hear this. Even at the start of three years of study I worry now about the lack of jobs when we graduate.

    Whereas before I was sure there would be.

    As for the above comment, deciding to read a tabloid as apposed to a broadsheet has nothing to do with intellect as far as I am aware. Both my parents are well educated and choose to read this paper. As have I myself. I always voted liberal too, so you're right people are changing with the times. But under no circumstance does the paper they choose to read impact on their judgment. I found your bracketed comment rude and snobbish.

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