What lies behind the governments’s decision to publish the McKinsey report into NHS cost savings this week?

The McKinsey report has been in circulation for over a year, strategic health authorities all have their own versions and, of course, HSJ brought it to public attention last September.

For a “confidential” report, its headline findings - the “£13bn-£20bn” savings needed between now and 2014 - are very well known.

The purpose of releasing the report now is to encourage the NHS and other stakeholders to understand what those savings might mean and to engage with the methods needed to deliver them.

HSJ recommends that readers pay particular attention to the section entitled “making it happen”. It is here that the radical suggestions lie - for example, limiting or removing mandatory staffing ratios in areas such as midwifery. These ideas are very useful for a new government - which can set their face against “unthinkable” proposals and instead suggest ideas which, without this context, would have faced an even rougher ride.

Read the McKinsey report and you will be struck by how the proposed approach to delivering the savings echoes the QIPP programme. For all the talk you will hear of how this report was written for another government, never underestimate the ongoing influence of its analysis of the challenges to come.