Nottinghamshire NHS plans to remove care and transport for some patients to make £61m saving

Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)

The NHS is planning to save tens of millions of pounds through an extensive raft of cost cutting measures that include taking care and travel away from some patients. Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), which is the NHS body that manages healthcare and budgets locally, has outlined it is looking to save £61,355,000 in the face of increased demand for prolonged healthcare and rising costs.

The healthcare partnership recently explained the proposed list of changes to Nottingham City Council after councillors raised concerns about the decommissioning of some mental health services. Amongst the 15 measures proposed by the ICB to cut costs over the next financial year, the most valuable was what it called a "review of care packages (health and social care) for citizens with long-term complex health needs."

This would save around £16,474,000, with the majority of this achieved through a review of patients' needs that would produce a £9 million saving, the ICB said. The board plans to assess all patients under new guidance that differentiates between health and social care needs, after which funding would be stopped for people with "no health needs".

Get the latest news straight to your phone by joining us on WhatsApp

Other cutbacks for long-term sick patients include a proposed end to funded transport to day services and respite care. The ICB plans to make its second largest saving of £12,768,000 by getting better value when buying medicines.

It explained the lion's share of this amount would be achieved by asking prescribers to issue generic drugs rather than the more expensive branded ones and by improving the software available to them. The body also said it would review "transformational and transactional proposals including discharge from hospital and frailty" to save £5,129,000, and suggested the idea of closing some administrative offices.

The new proposed measures come as NHS organisations across the county and country make difficult decisions to fill budget gaps in the face of inflation and increasing demand. "Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB is striving to strike the balance between the need to achieve financial sustainability with the ambition to provide the best possible health and wellbeing for our communities, creating a health and care system that is fit for the future," it told the city council.

The ICB said it was working to ensure that NHS organisations across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire operate within their budgets by the end of March 2026. Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) Trust, which runs the Queen's Medical Centre and City Hospital, had a £71 million deficit at the end of the 2023/24 financial year - which was one of the largest in the Midlands.