The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement is to calculate and publish “opportunity savings” in 10 changes to the way nurses work.

The potential efficiency savings are expected to run into millions of pounds.

The institute will develop Better Care, Better Value style indicators showing the cost saving each trust can make and publish the breakdown before the start of the next financial year.

The indicators will be part of an urgent initiative launched by the chief nursing officer Dame Christine Beasley today. She is asking nurses to provide evidence of the top 10 “high impact” changes that can be implemented nationally.

Nursing staff make up the largest single part of the NHS pay bill (£7.3bn in 2007-08) and Dame Christine told HSJ it would be “foolish” to think nurses would not be asked to make a contribution to the £15bn-£20bn in efficiency savings expected by 2014.

She is asking nurses to come forward over the next three weeks with examples of initiatives they are taking which could be “scaled up nationally”.

The “10 high impact actions” are due to be launched in November. They are likely to be published as best practice guides.

Dame Christine said she was working closely with the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention programme and did not rule out making some changes mandatory.