National bodies should reduce the amount of data they collect from NHS providers by 10 per cent over the next two years and contribute to the cost of any new information requests, a review of bureaucracy in the NHS is set to say.
The review set up by the government in the wake of the Francis report estimated nationally required data collection and processing costed providers between £300m and £500m annually.
In a foreword to the report, former NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar, who led the review, said it had discoverd that the “national burden of bureaucracy is much bigger than originally thought”.
He added: “While vast amounts of NHS data and information are relevant to patient care, the processes used to collect and record it are often outdated and time-consuming for staff.
“That is why this review has not only looked at tackling the volume of data, but reducing the effort it takes to gather it, and increasing the value that can be extracted from every bit.”
The review recommends the Health and Social Care Information Centre plays a leading role in coordinating data collection and the development of a core dataset. If a national body requests data outside of the dataset they should incur a charge for the cost incurred by the trust to collect, validate and report the data, the report said.
It found the average cost of ad hoc reports, assessments, inspections, planning and fees, was approximately £400,000.
The review, which looked at the experiences of seven providers mainly delivering acute and mental health services found big variations in the cost of data collections and said trusts should move towards using an electronic patient record from which data could be easily be extracted.
Clinical staff interviewed reported spending between two hours and 10 hours a week collecting, recording or validating data but felt only 65 per cent of this was useful activity.
The report said national bodies should make more of an effort to explain why they wanted to collect certain data.
The review was one of a number of reports commissioned by the government in the wake of the Francis report into care failings at Mid Staffordshire earlier this year. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to respond to all of the reports later today.
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