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Unfortunately, Mr Connolly did not make any savings in 1994-95. It confirms:
These savings can be achieved -
wait for this -
by introducing efficiencies and reducing staff levels as a result of redesigned processes, changed procedures and new work practices ...
Again, that is exactly what we have done. It goes on to talk about the three-year strategy to bring down savings, in line with what we have done. It says:
Identification of performance improvement opportunities and implementation plans to achieve an appropriate benchmark operations cost (reduction in the order of $25m) over a three-year period.
What have we done? Exactly that. We have identified benchmarks. We have identified a three-year program. Guess how many savings have been identified over the three years? Savings of $25m - $5m in the first year and $10m in each of the two outyears, exactly what Mr Connolly's report recommends we do.
As part of phase 2, we have to work from the information in this document, which gives us macro figures on how much we could potentially save in areas such as nursing. The report says that nursing is $8.7m above the mean and administrative and clerical costs are $3.4m above the mean. What it does not tell us is exactly where those above the mean costs occur. We had to find out, and we got Booz Allen to help us find out exactly where in the area of nursing, the area of other costs, the area of clerical, there was overstaffing, because we did not know. We certainly know that there is understaffing in a large number of nursing areas. We certainly know anecdotally that nurses are run off their feet in a number of ward areas in the hospitals. So it is not as simple as saying, “Okay, there is $8.7m too much spent on nursing. We will just go for the untargeted approach that the previous Government took on many occasions”. Simply put, we would not target the areas where there were problems if we did that.
We brought Booz Allen in to look at the areas where there were problems, and that is what the report has done. It has taken the macro, across-the-board approach, that Andersen Consulting did for us and shown us exactly how to target those savings. It is interesting to note some of the things Booz Allen showed us that we did not know before. We did know that Woden Valley Hospital spent substantially more than national benchmarks. We did know that on nursing we spent more than national benchmarks. We did know that on VMOs we spent more than national benchmarks. We did know that we spent more on clerical. What we did not know was that one in every five patients at Woden Valley Hospital may have been there unnecessarily, for non-acute reasons such as waiting for nursing home beds.
One of the things Mr Connolly said is that all of this was somehow done on one day. What was done on one day was the bed audit. A bed audit has to be done on one day; you cannot do it on lots of days. You have to do it on one day, because you are assessing what the situation is in the hospital on one day. It stands to reason that you do it on