The Department of Health has distributed more than 340,000 copies of a document explaining the need for efficiency savings to clinicians.

The NHS Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention Challenge: an introduction for clinicians is signed by medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, chief nursing officer Dame Christine Beasley, chief scientific officer Professor Sue Hill, chief health professions officer Karen Middleton and chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge, as well as national director for improvement and efficiency Jim Easton.

The foreword says: “You have used this [previous] increased funding to accelerate your work to improve care for patients.

“But, as we face up to the consequences of the worldwide recession and the need to cut the national debt, we must focus on how to continue to make these improvements in a tighter fiscal climate.”

It continues: “You may think that money is someone else’s business but we believe that addressing financial inefficiencies is a key personal, professional and moral responsibility because it allows us to free up resources which can then be used to treat more patients, more effectively.

“This booklet describes how we will support clinical teams and NHS organisations to meet this challenge and the ways in which we can all get involved in shaping the response locally.”

It includes case studies of clinicians and teams that are leading improvement projects, such as work at Sandwell Primary Care Trust on end of life care and at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust on electronic blood transfusion.

The DH said it was important to reach clinicians who do not have regular access to the internet during the working day.