Small changes, big differences


Involving nursing staff in the procurement of clinical supplies.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), NHS Supply Chain and the Clinical Procurement Specialist Network (CPSN), have joined forces to help nursing staff to use their unparalleled knowledge and experience to have a say in how their trust purchases and utilises key clinical supplies.

The small changes, big differences campaign has been developed to help drive savings and promote patient safety with product quality and patient care being key factors. The aim is to harness the knowledge and expertise that exists in the NHS and to provide simple, interactive tools that can help to drive long lasting change and share best practice.

Want to make some small changes that will make a big difference?


Source: Nursing Times Survey, December 2014

Case studies

Video case study

See how a centralised wound care dressings’ scheme in East London led to standardisation of practice, improving patient care and delivering cost savings of over £600,000.

NHS Supply Chain does not endorse, favour or recommend any other party’s products, processes or services that may feature in this case study. Accordingly, the appearance of any such products, processes or services in this case study may not be used in any third party advertising or product endorsement purposes.

See how we have supported trusts to improve patient care and deliver savings and efficiencies across clinical supplies

View our case studies >


Success stories

See how nurses are already helping improve patient safety, whilst also delivering efficiencies and savings.


How to guide

Giving you guidance - where to start and how to approach your trust colleagues and managers about reviewing your clinical supplies.


Share your story

We want to hear about the changes you have made in your organisation. Please share your examples of good practice in procurement, how small changes have made a big difference.

Traffic light support system


Helping you label products in your stock rooms to raise awareness of their cost before selection, driving efficiencies without creating any extra work.

Click find out more to view the user guide, case study and order your FREE traffic light support system.

About the organisations involved


At NHS Supply Chain we run the national contract set-up by the Department of Health to deliver better value to NHS trusts, from their spend on clinical and medical supplies, through innovative purchasing and supply chain solutions. Offering a comprehensive range of products that cover areas such as wound care, gloves, dressings, wipes, implants and surgical equipment, we use our network of specialists to work closely with trusts to ensure products meet their requirements on both cost and quality.

Formed in 2006 NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL and acts as agent to the NHS Business Services Authority.


The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the voice of nursing across the UK and is the largest professional union of nursing staff in the world, with over 420,000 members. The RCN represents the interests of nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, and those of their patients on a wide range of issues.

RCN help shape healthcare policy and promote excellence in practice. RCN support the professional development and education of their members, and they defend nursing values, interests and the terms and conditions of employment of nursing staff.


The Clinical Procurement Specialist Network (CPSN) is a professional community that encourages shared learning and promotes the relationship between clinicians, commercial and procurement staff within the healthcare environment.

The network provides a forum where members can build relationships with likeminded individuals, share knowledge and best practice that not only supports the procuring of goods, products and services more efficiently but also enhances the provision and sustainability of high quality, safe and cost effective patient care.

The network is managed by an executive committee made up from members who are all clinicians based in NHS organisations. For more information please contact the current Co-Chairs:David Newton, Matron Clinical Procurement, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust –
Jim Kennett, Clinical Procurement Specialist, Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust –

Delivering value to the NHS