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How Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will save up £200 million with a Five-Year ‘Waste-Reduction’ strategy

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute Trust in Yorkshire with a turnover of circa £1.6 billion per annum. The Trust provides a full range of hospital services across five main hospital sites.  

The Trust has a very ambitious capital program to transform its hospitals over the next five years. To achieve this, the Trust needs to generate a significant financial surplus. It cannot be anticipated that this will be generated through additional income; therefore, the Trust will have to generate significant cost efficiencies over the next five years.  

The specific challenge for the Chief Financial Officer was to create a credible and sustainable Five-Year financial strategy underpinned by a Five-Year ‘Waste Reduction’ strategy. Assista, since September 2021 part of the LOGEX Group, was approached to write the waste reduction strategy, which would be presented to the Trust Board in October/November 2021. In doing so, the waste reduction strategy needed to be underpinned by a large amount of ‘science’ and evidence that the ambitious efficiency plan could be achieved; the ultimate purpose is to assure the Trust Board, and the non-executive members, that the cost efficiencies (over £200 million over five years) could be delivered.   

Our approach to this challenge was threefold:  

  • Link the waste reduction program to pre-existing, and approved, national, regional, and Trust-specific strategies (the NHS national plan and Trust Five-year Estate strategy, for example)
  • Research and develop a range of existing or new ‘best practice’ metrics to demonstrate quantitatively what can be achieved
  • Work collaboratively with a range of executive officers on refining the metrics, to agree on what the Trust could deliver operationally, identifying new waste reduction opportunities, and gathering their support for the five-year plan (this was done through a series of meetings, discussions, and ‘negotiations’)

The reason for this approach was to ‘anchor’ the waste reduction program in strategies and initiatives that the Trust Board was already familiar with and supportive of. And create a set of metrics that could not only be quantified but independently tested to ensure that the executive members of the Board were fully supportive of the strategy when presented to the Board.  

We successfully created the five-year waste reduction strategy, which identified opportunities in excess of £200 million and entirely fulfilled the brief that had been provided. The opportunities were underpinned by a set of solid metrics and were supported by the executive officers of the Trust, meaning that it was fully supported by the Trust Board when presented to them on 25th November 2021.  

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