Digital innovation could save public sector £2.9bn

Substantial efficiency gains can be made

At the Digital by Default Conference held in London on 4th December, NHS director of operations and delivery Bernard Quinn said that the public sector, including the NHS, could save GBP 2.9 billion by moving more services to the internet and communicating with citizens online rather than via phone or face-to-face.

Around £2.9bn could be saved by just having simple things like appointment reminders, results, email dialogues that you could have with professionals within the NHS,” he told the conference.

If the figure was to include contacts had between the NHS and its patients, it would be a lot higher.

Quinn, who has previously worked with the Government Digital Service, told the conference that the cost of delivering public services in person could be as much as £14 for each contact, between £4 and £5 over the phone and under one pound for web and online. He said these were “very, very substantial efficiency gains” that the government could achieve, given its 1.5 billion contacts with the public each year.

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