Using the right toolset on Cost Improvement Programmes

Blog 08-04-2021

The level of change in the NHS is increasing and many programmes that Trusts need to deliver are Cost Improvement Programmes (CIPS). A (CIP) is the identification of schemes to increase efficiency/ or reduce expenditure. CIPs can include both recurrent (year on year) and non-recurrent (one-off) savings.For each CIP scheme, a Quality Impact Assessment (QIA) needs to be produced and approved. These QIAs are a way of ensuring that the Trusts maintain quality and do not impinge on patient care or safety.

QIAs are therefore part of the project processes that Trusts need to follow in order to deliver the CIP outcomes.

In many NHS Trusts there is a recognition that, due to the level of change that needs to be delivered, a PMO needs to be created to oversee initiatives and ensure that proper governance is being followed.

As mentioned in previous blogs, a PMO needs a tool that is fit for purpose, to manage all projects and programmes. Part of CIP governance is to keep a register of all QIAs for all schemes.

A QIA is essentially a risk process to evaluate the effect of the scheme on patients. Working with a number of Trusts, we have implemented a QIA process using a combination of Quality gates and a QIA risk process. The QIA risk form in PM3 is detailed below:

PM3 Screen Showing QIA for a CIP scheme

PM3 is flexible in that users can identify their own risk questions and categories and assess each scheme against these questions. The impact and severity can then be calculated in PM3.

You could, of course, use a spreadsheet to document your QIA, but it is always better to have the QIA within a tool like PM3 that contains ‘one version of the truth’ for all project plans and artefacts.

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