Monitoring Supply of Consumables During COVID-19
NHS England and NHS Improvement supported by NHS Supply Chain are carefully managing the supply of key consumables.
Ensuring all NHS trusts have equal access to key consumables required to tackle COVID-19, and to provide patient care during this challenging time remains a top priority.
Where there is an exceptional increase in national demand for ICU products, they will be suspended with immediate effect. Any other product suspensions will be managed outside of this process via the normal route.
Currently, there are suspensions in place across a number of categories. Please read ICN 1046 in our Useful Links 🔗 section for further information on the affected codes and available product listings.
What to do if you need to order a suspended product
You need to complete and submit the suspended code submission webform if you have an urgent clinical need any of the suspended codes. See our Useful Links 🔗 section to access this webform.
Your completed webform is then submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement Consumables Group who review all requests for suspended products. Allocation of products will be prioritised to where they are clinically most needed.
At 12pm each Tuesday and Thursday the Consumables Group reviews submissions and will then confirm to the requester:
- Which orders have been denied,
- Which orders will be raised and to what volume they will be raised (as the requested amount may be amended down).
- Provide the rationale where requests cannot be fulfilled.
At 4pm each Tuesday and Thursday the NHS Supply Chain Customer Services will receive the orders to be raised. NHS Supply Chain Customer Services will then:
- Raise the order.
- Notify the customer of the delivery date.
- Inform the relevant NHS Supply Chain Account Manager.
- The cycle will be Day 1 ordering for Day 3 delivery, however, this is dependent on supply route and lead time of the product.
This process changed from daily to twice weekly at 11am 29 May 2020. Trusts now have more time to plan their submission requests and identify potential alternatives for the suspended consumables. Regional Consumable Group Leads also have more time to review and clarify any queries with regards to clinical need, in advance of the national consumables group meetings.
Guidance for completing the web form
- Quantity requested – Quantities should only be requested if there is an urgent clinical need. The quantity should reflect the need for 1 week.
- Clinical rationale for quantity requested – Please define the specific urgent clinical need based on the current patient profile. For example, “We have x number of patients on ventilation who are now on day y, so will require a tracheostomy in the next z days”. The rationale should provide as much information as possible about the requirement to meet patient need and when it will be needed. Statements such as ‘Urgent need’ or ‘Needed for ICU patients’ do not provide sufficient clinical rationale to support the allocation of consumables.
- First and second alternatives – Wherever possible identify alternatives as this increases the likelihood of meeting the requested quantities.
- Requisition point – Submit your request through one requisition point. This enables requests to be considered in aggregate.
How to appeal the decision of the Consumables Group
Following notification of the submission outcome, if you have an immediate clinical emergency, please escalate this back to the notifying Consumables Group for review.
Special picks for 5 hour delivery and next day delivery, are available emergency options.