About NHS Supply Chain – More Details

Our Management Function

Our business model is underpinned by a commercially astute management function called Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL), whom proudly oversee continuous improvement of the NHS Supply Chain operating model and delivering of supply chain excellence and value to NHS customers. SCCL are committed to becoming the strategic procurement partner of choice for the NHS by evolving services and making them fit for the future, in line with the needs of the NHS and in a sustainable way.

Our Business Model

The new NHS Supply Chain operating model, launched fully in 2019, is aligned to Lord Carter of Coles independent review of unwarranted variation in procurement, across a fragmented NHS procurement landscape. The model aims to deliver savings of £2.4 billion back into the NHS by 2023 / 2024, delivering savings and providing a standardised range of clinically assured, quality products at the best value through a range of specialist buying functions. Its aim is to leverage the buying power of the NHS to negotiate the best deals from suppliers and deliver savings back into NHS frontline services.

Our Category Towers

The model consists of specialist buying functions, known as Category Towers, delivering clinical consumables, capital medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and non-medical products such as food and office solutions. Two enabling services for logistics and supporting technology underpin the model.

Our Clinical Expertise

Clinical expertise runs through the whole of the organisation, with clinical colleagues working collaboratively with procurement specialists, ensuring all new frameworks are quality assured via our Clinical and Product Assurance (CaPA) function.

Supply Chain Resilience

In common with other healthcare organisations, our experience through COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to ensure we have a resilient supply chain and have put in place measures to increase the resilience of our supply chain which serves every NHS trust. 

We continue to monitor and where necessary increase stockholding levels in our warehouses and with our suppliers for high demand product categories. This helps ensure that products are available to order. 

Enabling collective procurement for Integrated Care Systems

One of the impacts seen over the last year has been the acceleration towards system working in line with the ambition set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. As NHS trusts continue to work regionally with their health and care partners to drive greater value through working together, our aim is to work with Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to develop and test Integrated Care System level solutions that align with their clinical and procurement objectives.

Over the short-term we are looking to:

  • Ensure that our customer facing teams focus on Sustainability Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and ICSs to enable engagement and system working.
  • Explore an ICS level pilot opportunity on wound care.
  • Scale our reporting capabilities to ICS level (in addition to trust level).
  • Continue to add new savings opportunities, such as National Pricing Matrices auto-enrolment for STPs/ICSs.

Delivering safe patient care and providing value

To deliver safe patient care and to provide value for organisations, we are keen to explore opportunities to work with collaboratives of trusts and ICSs to enable collective procurement opportunities with the involvement of clinicians.