A roundup of Monday’s key stories

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Collective groan… but providers will be twitchy over efficiency drive

Readers were quick to bemoan Lord Carter’s “landmark” review into NHS efficiency. It will say hospitals could save £400m a year through better planning of staff rotas and shifts, and £1bn by cutting the number of product lines it uses.

One reader posted on the HSJ website: “Um… is this the same Lord Carter who heralded major pathology savings a few years ago? How many of those headlines were real when you tried to implement? I am desperate to find sound ways to reduce cost but I am concerned these headline will prove the same old same story and in reality will not deliver anywhere near the scale required or at the level of the aggregated headline figures.”

And another said: “Hospitals are very complex organisations, as are local health economies, so this index is a crazy idea to please politicians. Seems like crazy people have taken over NHS England.”

An understandable reaction, perhaps, which could suggest some twitchiness among providers about the introduction of another metric to compare and rank them against their peers.

‘Test bed’ innovators to find their match

In another challenge to providers to find better value, NHS England seeks bids from providers to take part in a new “test bed” programme for innovations on a large scale.

A piece published on hsj.co.uk on Monday by NHS England strategy director Michael Macdonnell explains the purpose of the innovation test bed scheme.

NHS England will play Cilla Black and help “match make” NHS providers with innovators. The deadline for applications is Friday.