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Enabling NHS trusts to order products more efficiently

Monday 6 April 2009

NHS Supply Chain redevelops online catalogue

NHS Supply Chain has given its online catalogue a makeover so that NHS trusts spend less time on ordering supplies and more time on patient care.

The online catalogue, NHS Cat, which links customers with over 610,000 healthcare products from NHS Supply Chain, has been updated following feedback from NHS trusts.

“The way the catalogue works has been totally redesigned, making it easier for customers to navigate around and quicker for them to order from,” said Paul White, IT Director at NHS Supply Chain. “The money and time saved by NHS trusts using NHS Cat can be redirected back to patient care.”

“Our principle aim is to help NHS trusts procure goods quickly and efficiently to achieve better value for money,” added Paul. “The redevelopment of NHS Cat is just one example of how we are continuing to develop our services in line with our customers’ needs.”

Alongside the new look, NHS Cat has been rejuvenated with new features designed with customers’ busy workloads in mind. “One of the main improvements is the abundance of product information,” added Paul. “NHS Supply Chain has worked with its supplier base to offer additional information such as product images, extended descriptions, alternative products, manuals and COSHH datasheets, so that customers have all the information they need at the touch of a button.”

Searching through NHS Cat has been streamlined and the website now has comprehensive category sorting, broken down by brand, price-range and product type, and improved accuracy of search results with automatic spell check for commonly misspelt words.

The latest product and contract launches can be seen at a glance on NHS Cat’s homepage and catalogue information can be shared across NHS trusts by exporting into database format or emailing with the ‘send’ feature.

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Notes to editors

The full list of new features in NHS Cat includes:

  • New look website to match NHS Supply Chain’s redesigned corporate image
  • Access via public internet (www) instead of nww [NB to access prices and export data, customers must be logged in]
  • Integrated log-in across NHS Supply Chain websites
  • Homepage showing new contract/product launches
  • Trust specific products/prices displayed (where applicable/requires login)
  • Improved searching
  • category sorting by brand, product type and price range o automatic spell-check of commonly misspelt words
  • advanced search syntax (eg. “cannula AND sterile NOT ### supplier” will show any sterile canulla excluding those supplied by a specific supplier)
  • Ability to export search results as an excel spreadsheet
  • Rich product information (including images, extended product descriptions, alternative products, manuals and COSHH datasheets) – is currently being updated
  • Direct customer feedback, including send to a colleague facility

NHS Cat was first launched in 2007, and replaced the previous NHS Logistics catalogue. NHS Cat can be accessed here.

For more information please contact Andrew Brentnall on 01773 724196 or at andrew.brentnall@supplychain.nhs.uk

About NHS Supply Chain

NHS Supply Chain is a 10-year contract operated by DHL Exel Supply Chain 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 600,000 products. NHS Supply Chain can manage the entire tender process, including Official Journal of European Union processes, and act as single point of contact between trusts and suppliers.

  • procurement
  • supplier
  • logistics
  • Supply Chain consultancy services
  • patient services

All underpinned by world-class IT and ecommerce. The range of 600,000 in-scope products support the patient pathway: diagnosis, intervention and patient care:

  • theatres
  • nursing
  • food and facilities (including office equipment )
  • clinical markets
  • capital equipment

NHS Supply Chain HQ address: Cotes Park Industrial Estate, West Way, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 4QJ
Phone: 01773 724000
Fax: 01773 724229
Website: www.supplychain.nhs.uk

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in eight locations. For further information, visit www.supplychain.nhs.uk.