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Fast-tracking innovative products into the NHS

Wednesday 14 October 2009

NHS Supply Chain and NHS National Innovation Centre launch ‘Innovation Scorecard’

Suppliers will be given the opportunity to fast-track innovative products into the NHS today through the launch of NHS Supply Chain's Innovation Scorecard.

The Innovation Scorecard, which NHS Supply Chain developed in partnership with the NHS National Innovation Centre (NIC), encourages suppliers to register innovative products for consideration through an online portal.

The new process has three clear benefits:

  • The NHS gains access to the latest products and technological advances to benefit patient care.
  • The NIC has a route to market for suppliers it has supported through the development process of premarket products.
  • Suppliers of all sizes have the opportunity to fast-track new products into the supply chain on a pilot contract.

“Scorecard makes it easier for innovators of all sizes to connect with potential buyers,” says NHS Supply Chain Procurement Director, Roger West. “And most importantly, it gives the NHS access to the latest products and technological advances to benefit patient care.”

“Innovation Scorecard provides us with a mechanism to assess whether new products are innovative by assessing the concept, value and capability of an innovative medical device.”

Brian Winn Head of the NHS National Innovation Centre says the joint relationship with NHS Supply Chain and the development of the Scorecard is a "brilliant idea".

"Many of the clients and innovators that come to us have already developed their product and essentially want to know how to sell to the NHS. Now we can direct them to NHS Supply Chain for consideration," he says.

Recent theatre innovations supplied to the NHS through NHS Supply Chain include, the Covidien Single Incisional Access Port which allows multiple instruments to be inserted through one hole (typically the navel) to reduce scarring and speed up recovery after operations; and the Intersurgical guedal airway which combines two different strengths of plastic into a single piece airway to overcome the choking hazard which can occur with two-piece airways.


Notes to Editors

The Innovation Scorecard will be officially launched to suppliers and press at a breakfast briefing at the Majestic hotel on 14 October at 09:00.

Emma Tandy, NHS Supply Chain’s Innovation lead and representatives from the NHS National Innovation Centre will be presenting at the launch.

For more information or to request an invitation to the launch please contact Andrew Brentnall on 01773 724196 or at

The Innovation Scorecard process

REGISTER Suppliers register on the innovation area of NHS Supply Chain’s website (

SUBMIT The application consists of a series of questions which address the concept, value and capability of the product.

SCORE The product will be scored and submitted for consideration.

RESEARCH Every product is different so NHS Supply Chain conducts comprehensive market research/analysis and clinical feedback on products submitted.

EVALUATION If deemed innovative the product is assessed further with suppliers having an opportunity to present new products and technologies in front of an NHS Supply Chain Task Force.

CONTRACT Following Task Force feedback, if the product is perceived to benefit the NHS, NHS Supply Chain seeks to fast track its introduction into the NHS on a pilot contract.

NHS Supply Chain will officially launch the Innovation Scorecard at The Association for Perioperative Practice Congress and Exhibition on 14 October in Harrogate. NHS Supply Chain will be exhibiting at the exhibition on stand B75 in Hall B.

About NHS Supply Chain

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL on behalf of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Its aim is to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS so that resources are released for customers to focus on quality frontline patient care, manage costs and achieve sustainable value. NHS Supply Chain provides its services to over 600 NHS trusts and private healthcare providers and offers over 620,000 products. It manages the entire supply chain process for medical consumables - from the sourcing of products, right through to their delivery and supply.

Key services include:

By ordering through NHS Supply Chain, trusts negate the need to tender themselves through EU processes (OJEU). This saves trusts time and money on the lengthy tendering process.

NHS Supply Chain arranges the delivery of products to the required location.

NHS Supply Chain offers an electronic system to manage all transactions, including an online catalogue, online ordering and an e-billing system.

The range of over 620,000 products includes:

  • theatres
  • nursing
  • food and facilities
  • clinical markets
  • capital equipment

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in eight locations.

About the NHS National Innovation Centre

The NHS National Innovation Centre (NIC) assists in the progression of pre-commercial technologies likely to benefit the NHS. The NIC supports innovations with its free-to-use, secure and confidential online tools to help assess ideas, find resources, source leads and manage product development.

For more information please contact

Andrew Brentnall on 01773 724196 or at

Joanna Morrison on 07776457201 or at

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