Director of Customer Engagement, NHS Supply Chain
With a key aim to improve patient care, a new collaborative clinical approach is enabling the NHS to make cost effective decisions whilst still providing patients with the best quality service.
NHS Supply Chain supports the NHS by managing the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products, services and food at the best value for NHS trusts and healthcare organisations across England and Wales. The aim of the NHS Supply Chain is to leverage the buying power of the NHS to negotiate the best deals from suppliers and deliver savings of £2.4 billion back into NHS frontline services by the end of the financial year 2022/23.
It is focused on increasing collaborative working with the NHS, aligning with the greater integration of health and social care in line with the Health and Care Bill expected to take effect on 1st July. In addition, it is helping to rethink how procurement maximises its support of frontline patient care.
Successful collaboration reaps rewards
The organisation has already successfully demonstrated this collaborative approach in a recent clinician-led procurement project with expert buyers working closely with procurement teams from five London NHS trusts, known collectively as the South London Cardiac Operational Delivery Network. Cardiologists have transformed how high-end medical devices are chosen for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), procured at the best cost for the NHS.
The project achieved the lowest device prices seen in the NHS and £1.3 million annual savings – without limiting choice or compromising product quality.
Using robust value analysis and medical leadership brought together in a clinical council, which places clinicians at the heart of the procurement activity, the project achieved the lowest device prices seen in the NHS and £1.3 million annual savings – without limiting choice or compromising product quality.
Importance of clinically led collaboration
NHS Supply Chain’s Director of Customer Engagement Jodi Chapman says: “This is just one innovative project we have been working on to understand the best clinical choice of product for safe patient care and delivers significant value to the NHS. It is an excellent example of clinical input being placed at the heart of the buying process to deliver products that are fit for purpose, value for money and represent the needs of health and care professionals.
“We have learnt a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic about collaborative working with the NHS. We look forward to building on that, adding value by supporting integrated care systems to access system level opportunities and finding flexible procurement solutions that work for their broader localities and populations. This will help to streamline patient pathways and improve outcomes for their patients.”
NHS Supply Chain is also working on a clinically led collaborative wound care products pilot project with some trusts in the north of England, supporting the local NHS to develop a consistent approach to wound care.