On 22 July the King’s Fund published their latest report under the “quality in a cold climate” theme Improving NHS productivity: More with the same not more of the same.

This report is a combination of policy and health economic research into the scale of the financial issues surrounding the NHS and wider health economy over the next few years combined with input from the King’s Fund leadership and health care improvement teams on what NHS leaders and others need to do to address the issues.

It includes strategies for improving productivity: “doing things right and doing the right thing”. As the NHS grapples with significantly smaller increases in funding from 2011, there is a danger that the necessary focus on improving productivity becomes, at best, an end in itself and, at worst, a misunderstanding that the NHS needs to dramatically cut budgets, reduce services for patients and sack staff.

The NHS will need to carefully select the strategies which, together, produce “more value” from the same or similar resource – “not” the same for less.