Audit Scotland reports on orthopaedic services

NHS ‘could save £2m’ on joint implants

Hip Xray

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

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