In its work during this Parliament the Health Committee has consistently underlined the importance of the “Nicholson Challenge” – in which Sir David Nicholson, with cross party support, spelt out the requirement for health and social care services to achieve 4% year-on-year efficiency gains to allow them to meet rising demand for care through a period of minimal real resource growth.
The Committee published reports in December 2010, January 2012 and January 2013 which examined the progress made towards delivering this objective.
The Committee plans to return to the subject this autumn. In its inquiry the Committee will consider, amongst other issues:
- The plans being made by NHS bodies to enable them to meet the Nicholson Challenge, and whether the NHS is succeeding in making efficiency gains rather than cuts
- The effectiveness of the mechanisms by which resources are distributed geographically in the NHS
- The prospects for the long-term viability of NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts
- Reports of particular financial pressures in the system, such as funding for General Practice, and for Accident and Emergency services
- The impact on the provision of adult social care of the 2010 spending review settlement and the ability of local authorities to make the necessary efficiency savings
- The impact on NHS plans of decisions currently being made by local authorities and the use of the additional funding for social care being made available through the NHS budget
- Progress on making efficiencies through the integration of health and social care services.