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Cost Benefits of SAP

By increasing efficiency and reducing waste, SAP generates cost savings (typically about £1000 in savings per employee in the unit). 

Examples of cost savings achieved in SAP pilots include:

  • £250,000 per year (across a number of units) saved on waste disposal after recycling introduced and the proportion of non-clinical waste entering yellow bags reduced;
  • £4,250 per year by reducing unnecessary items in birthing unit maternity packs, plus £1,525 by improving storage to reduce instrument loss;
  • Estimated £6,000 on electricity in one unit by removing alternate fluorescent lighting tubes in a main corridor;
  • Estimated £y on heating fuel in one GP surgery bills from boiler maintenance and thermostat adjustment…
  • £4,800 per year on laundry in one dialysis unit, following provision of patients with their own blankets;
  • Approximately £6,000 per year on reduced food orders in the same dialysis unit, after patient menus introduced.
  • £11,000 cost avoidance by changing supplier of renal bicarbonate cartridges to one using less packaging and a smaller quantity of chemical.  Also savings running at £13,200 by reducing aborted ambulance journeys.

Even more significant cost savings are possible through improving processes across departmental boundaries, for example:

  • A pilot in a laboratory service identified over £100,000 per year could be saved on rejected laboratory samples from improved labelling and handling of samples in clinical areas.
  • £300,000 savings were reported by a main hospital after it improved its system for pharmaceutical returns and cut waste.

Carbon-cost benefits

From April 2010, larger NHS organisations (with energy consumption of more than 6,000 Megawatt hours per year) are subject to the Government’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, requiring them to pay up-front for each year’s energy-related carbon emissions.  This means that energy-saving actions identified through SAP will not only save the cost of energy itself, but will also reduce the Trust’s CRC payments.

Reinvesting to save

Organisations using SAP may wish to consider allowing clinical teams to keep part of the cost savings generated through the programme to reinvest in new efficiency projects.  Rewarding success in this way provides an incentive for staff to continue improving, and multiplies the savings achieved.