How to save 730m a year – PR Week Post #36

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OK, it is not going to make a massive dent in today’s ‘lower than forecast’ national debt of £156bn, but how about those in the NHS responsible for the 406 ‘Serious Untoward Incidents’ recorded last year realised they were costing the nation about £2m a day in compensation?  We are all faced with cuts and savings so how about we stop chucking money away as well?

These incidents include surgical error, dispensing wrong medicines (or in the wrong doses) and failure in equipment and supposedly, are only the tip of the iceberg. In an interview by Victoria Fletcher at the Express, Joyce Robins, co-director of Patient Concern, said: “The Department of Health admits there is a culture of denial in the NHS and that many ‘untoward incidents’ are never reported.”

The article concludes: “According to the National Patient Safety Agency around 4,000 patients in England died last year following safety incidents and a further 7,500 suffered severe harm”.

Aren’t you glad the NHS budget is £104bn a year?  At least we are able to pay people good money to make sure these mistakes happen. Just remember, last year, an NHS chief executive of a Foundation Trust took home an average salary of about £157,000.  Where’s the accountability?

Asda: Saving You Money Every Day – PR Week Post #35

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Perhaps Asda should add the word ‘lives’ to their corporate their corporate strap line after announcing on Friday that it planned to sell all currently approved cancer treatments on a ‘not for profit’ basis?

In a move the company is calling a ‘world’s first’, Asda believes this move has the potential to save thousands of pounds for patients who buy their cancer treatments through a private prescription. According to calculations by Asda, the savings on a year’s treatment with one lung cancer medicine equate to: £433.54. £1,084.40 and £1,091.85 versus Lloyds Pharmacy, Boots and Superdrug respectively (

Since November 2008 NHS patients have been permitted to pay privately for elements of their care not available on the NHS without losing their entitlement to NHS-funded care. While most drugs are available on the NHS, some patients find that a treatment recommended by their doctor is not funded either in their locality or by their private medical insurer (Health Insurance Protection Online).

Asda should be commended for this approach and I hope others will follow suit.