A new study by data specialists Insource, shows that there has been a significant increase in spending on Referral to Treatment (RTT) validation work by the NHS in the past year.
The study takes results from Freedom of Information Requests (FOI) sent out to 97 NHS Trusts and representing around two thirds of Trusts in the UK. It looks at the spending into RTT validation work by the NHS Trusts from the past five years, including the latest financial period.
It shows that during 2012-2017 there was a total of £31,722,822 spend on data validation across Trusts, averaging over £6 million every year. Between 2017/2018 however, the amount reached £8,304,390 on the same cost requirements and is continuing to escalate. This represents an average increase of 31% spent every year compared what was spent over the previous five years.
Details from the report show that half of the expenditure is related to temporary staff costing the NHS almost £4 million in 2018/2018. It also highlights that factors driving the rise in costs include recent mergers and acquisitions, data migration and a lack of uniformity between operational systems in hospitals.
The significant rise in costs represent what Insource says is a ‘real cost burden’ on the NHS ‘at a time when there is a real desire for advocating innovation and efficiency’.
Commenting on the findings, Graham Bennett, healthcare director at Insource said: “These figures are staggering and we understand the importance of RTT validation, however without addressing the root cause of why these costs are not only being incurred year on year, but also increasing, the NHS will continue to spend money on manual-led activities rather than looking at software automation to address the issue”.