The NHS has announced a new programme designed to improve consistency by care providers for people with a wide range of health conditions, including diabetes.

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) aims to improve clinical quality and efficiency within the NHS by reducing unwarranted variations in the care of more than 30 health conditions.

Last year the Government pledged £60 million in funding to expand and speed up delivery of the programme and the NHS is now looking to recruit clinical leads to deliver the service.

The GIRFT programme uses patient figures from healthcare professionals to identify differences in the way services are delivered. GIRFT also encourages the sharing of best practice between healthcare trusts and proposes to make improvements within specialist areas of healthcare to help improve results for patients and make services more effective.

Professor Tim Briggs, Chair of GIRFT and National Director of Clinical Quality and Efficiency at NHS Improvement, said: “Because GIRFT is led by clinicians, frontline medics in the specialties being reviewed welcome the programme because they can share both their best practice and their challenges with people that understand clinical service. We now need more clinicians to roll out that approach to more specialties.

“The orthopaedic pilot has already helped deliver efficiencies and savings of up to £30 million, with another £20 million forecast for 2015/16. But importantly, good patient outcomes and safety have remained paramount throughout the programme.”

Dr Jeremy Marlow, GIRFT Executive Director of Operational Productivity, added: “Because each specialty area is led by a clinical expert, and it uses trust data which it explores with clinicians and trust managers on the ground, the programme not only indentifies unwarranted variations in service, it gets to the heart of why they happen and how best they can be remedied. By rolling out the GIRFT methodology to more clinical areas I am confident we will start to see the same level of efficiencies and savings we have seen in orthopaedic surgery, which will ultimately lead to even better patient outcomes.”

Diabetes experts are now being sought, along with healthcare professionals specialising in heart, kidney and dentistry, and other conditions to compile reports based on patient figures and look at what challenges are faced in order to provide more consistent care across the country.