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How Improving the Patient Experience Can Save the NHS Money

5 minute read | 15/04/2024

How Improving the Patient Experience Can Save the NHS Money

Improving patient experience is one of the most efficient ways to reduce NHS costs. Whether it’s combatting food wastage, optimising productivity, shortening patient stays or fostering an open-door culture, we outline how optimised patient experience improves the bottom line of any Trust.

Here are four ways good patient experience can help your Trust and save money:

  1. Reduces food wastage
  2. Optimises staff productivity
  3. Patients spend less time in hospital
  4. More opportunities for feedback


1. Reduces food wastage

WRAP estimates that up to 18% of hospital food is wasted (equivalent to one in every six meals). More than 6,000 tonnes of hospital food was thrown away by NHS England in 2020 alone, leaving a hefty £230m annual cost of hospital food waste.

Patient experience can be improved by ensuring food choices align with dietary requirements and preferences. For instance, patients can be provided with menus that list the ingredients, using this information to preorder meals. 

In tandem, a hospital management system can link individual patients to their beds and ward numbers so if they move, meals can be redirected to them. 

If the patient is discharged before a meal is delivered, the system can automatically update to reflect this change. These methods reduce food wastage while ensuring the right patient receives the correct meal.

2. Optimises staff productivity

Staff productivity is impacted by various factors, from capacity issues and inefficient processes to poor patient education and staff exhaustion. Physical and mental burnout, for example, were prevalent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although we can’t always control every factor relating to staff productivity, patient experience is a variable we have autonomy over to improve efficiency across the board.

Patients entertained and educated throughout their journey are more likely to cooperate and be independent, leading to reduced readmission rates (currently costing the NHS between £135m and £2bn).

Alongside this, dealing with patient requests that arise from boredom or confusion takes away from staff’s valuable time that could be spent on more pertinent tasks relating to diagnosis, rehabilitation and operations. Functionality like nurse call can be integrated into engagement systems is a good example of improving staff efficiency.

Discover more about patient experience, upcoming trends and how your hospital or Trust can drive your strategy forward in our insightful guide. 

Patient Experience

3. Patients spend less time in hospital

As a more satisfied patient is more likely to cooperate with staff, medical practitioners can be more efficient and perform their jobs more effectively. Patients, therefore, spend less time in the hospital, receiving superior support and better quality healthcare.

This allows Trusts to allocate their resources more evenly and treat even more patients. If admissions, readmissions and hospital stays were more reliable, Trusts could also better financially forecast and keep a healthier bottom line with more insights attributed to investment.


4. More opportunities for feedback

A happier patient doesn’t just make it easier for the NHS staff to do their job. It also means the patient will be more inclined to give feedback via tools like the friends and family test.

A patient reporting their positive experience is more likely to provide unbiased, reasonable feedback than a disgruntled patient whose mood might cloud their judgement.

Gathering feedback is the only way Trusts can determine which areas are working and which need improvement, ensuring you make the best decisions with strained budgets.

Improving patient experience with an entertainment system

Hospitals can feel like large, lonely places where patients feel isolated from the rest of the world. This, combined with the limitations of the traditional bedside entertainment systems installed in most hospitals, can significantly impact patient happiness and satisfaction.

Many hospital Trusts seek a more cost-effective, user-friendly alternative, such as an engaging patient entertainment system.

These entertainment systems directly address many of our covered, becoming an all-in-one solution for improving the patient experience. 

Features of an entertainment system include:

  • Allowing patients to stream live TV, on-demand videos, music and premium channels from the smart device of their choice
  • Allowing patients to read electronic menus and order meals via their device without needing to pass around a meal card staff might easily misplace or misread
  • Linking patients to their bed and ward number so staff can see where they have gone and redirect meals to them if they move
  • Having a 'service request' feature that allows patients to make small requests at the touch of a button, like asking for a glass of water or an extra blanket, rather than interrupting a staff member. This ensures the correct staff member picks up ad-hoc tasks like these and doesn't affect the productivity of the rest of the team
  • Providing a digital window into the medical practitioners so patients can see a snapshot of their healthcare. They don't don't ask a staff member to find out. It also means other NHS staff can quickly find this information and present it to patients, ensuring maximum efficiency and productivity

Want to know more about these systems and how they can help your Trust? Download a free copy of our brochure, which explains patient entertainment systems in more detail. 


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So let’s work together to give it to them, all while optimising NHS processes.

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