Reducing waste in health care can result in savings that could be used to meet the projected shortfall in NHS funding or to meet the care needs of vulnerable groups. Patients and their families can contribute to the identification and reduction of waste. To do so their understanding of the costs of health care and treatment needs to be increased. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
The approach formed part of the Close Partnering work stream of the NHS Future Focused Finance (FFF) programme. Included in this was a review of the literature relating to waste reduction, patient engagement and reference to experts in the field of public and patient engagement. Engagement of the patient voice in the NHS FFF programme to provide the patient perspective and engage in discussions with patients. Discussions with experts in patient and public involvement and clinicians were also undertaken.
The public and patients have little awareness of NHS finances and generally perceive efforts to reduce costs and achieve efficiencies as impacting on the quality of care. Engaging the public and patients in discussions about the costs of health care is challenging and existing methodologies for patient and public engagement may not be appropriate for what could be termed difficult conversations.
Increasing patient awareness of the costs of health care and treatment may result in patients and the public demanding greater involvement in decisions about health care expenditure and use of resources.
Difficult conversations with patients and the public about the costs of health and their role in reducing waste are rarely invited. This paper brings to the fore the issues and challenges that such discussions engender.
Minogue, V., Wells, B. and Brooks, A. (2016), "Difficult conversations? Engaging patients in reducing waste in health care", International Journal of Health Governance, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 51-58. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHG-01-2016-0002Download as .RIS
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