The Department of Health may struggle to make the efficiency savings set out in the pre-Budget report, according to research by EC Harris.

The government plans to make public sector savings of £5bn in 2010/11, and a programme launched in Monday’s report will look at how the NHS can make better use of facilities.

It has emerged that EC Harris co-authored a review of NHS property in the summer, which found that estate strategy had a “low profile” on the organisation’s business agenda and there was “little perceived incentive” to maximise use of space.

Ed Baldwin, a partner in EC Harris, said: “Our review highlighted that the NHS still has much to undertake to really understand how well its assets are performing.”