NHS ‘could save £2m’ on joint implants
Waiting times for treatment have ‘considerably’ reduced
Health boards in Scotland could save millions of pounds by handling the cost of knee and hip replacements more efficiently, a spending watchdog said.
Audit Scotland found that £2m could be saved just by stopping NHS boards from purchasing replacement hip and knee joints from different suppliers.
The price difference in joints was highlighted in a review of orthopaedic services across the NHS in Scotland.
It found some boards were paying more than double for implants.
Artificial hips can range in cost from an average £858 in Lothian to £1,832 in neighbouring Forth Valley.
The cost of knee implants varies from an average £1,166 at the Golden Jubilee hospital near Glasgow to £2,060 in the Western Isles.
‘Scope’ for savings
The report stated: “NHS boards can reduce the cost of implants and standardise training by minimising the different types of implants that are used and purchasing implants that provide best value-for-money based on cost and clinical effectiveness.”
Read more about NHS Scotland savings
Read the Audit Scotland Report