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A Collaborative Approach To Procurement Delivers Significant Savings for Cambridge and Peterborough ICS

24 May 2022

This agreement has meant equipment is available the same day, without delay, ensuring treatment is there when the patient needs it. The right treatment at the right time, meaning the patient heals faster and can get home quicker. NHS Supply Chain were instrumental in bringing together all parties to help us achieve one compliant agreement

William Mitcham – Medical Category Manager – North- West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust


Cambridge and Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS) were purchasing directly under five separate purchasing strategies for their supply of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) pumps and consumables.

The ICS worked in collaboration with NHS Supply Chain to make use of the set purchase plan option on the NPWT framework which launched in April 2021. This enabled the ICS to standardise on pumps and consumables and allowed the ICS to leverage their larger quantity of pumps to achieve the best
savings possible.

The two-year agreement which launched in April 2021 will achieve savings of £196,062.50 annually (based on not having to buy the pumps), resulting in £384,125 by April 2023; which can be reinvested back into front line healthcare and ultimately drive better patient outcomes.


This project brought all stakeholders together including Tissue Viability Nurses (TVNs) across Cambridge and Peterborough ICS, NHS Supply Chain stakeholders and key suppliers to develop the best clinically and cost-effective agreement. As this was a clinically led initiative, the regional TVNs had decided they would like to standardise down to one supplier, so NHS Supply Chain supported the move to one purchasing strategy. Additional objectives for the project were;

  • To standardise on NPWT and put one compliant agreement in place across the ICS and the community
  • To combine spend across the ICS to enable smaller trusts to access the set purchase plan option and drive savings across the ICS
  • To reduce ad-hoc spend and create budget transparency
  • To standardise pumps across the ICS and ensure simplicity and consistency of training.

Key Challenges

  • Bringing all existing contracts together in one place and agreeing the best solution
  • Having a compliant agreement in place whilst meeting all the clinician’s needs within the trusts
  • Standardising to a new wound therapy pump at Royal Papworth. The trust required clinical trials and clinicians to collaborate to drive a favourable outcome as well as trust wide training
  • Logistic challenges surrounding storage of pumps and financial implications were also overcome as a region.

The Solution

Within the NPWT Framework Agreement, successful suppliers have the option of offering a set purchase plan for the provision of Negative Pressure Pumps. A set purchase plan is an agreement between the customer and supplier where the supplier agrees to loan the customer the negative pressure pump for the duration of the agreement, and in return the customer commits to a minimum spend on the consumables. The set purchase plan stops the trust from having to purchase the pumps which can have a purchase price (inc. VAT) upwards of £5,000.

The ICS consists of three acute trusts and two community trusts, who were ordering a small amount of NPWT pumps and consumables from various suppliers and from NHS Supply Chain.

Early engagement between key stakeholders within Cambridge and Peterborough ICS and NHS Supply Chain, ahead of the NPWT framework being launched, identified an opportunity for the ICS to bring together all their existing NPWT requirements under one compliant agreement and achieve savings. The standardisation of pumps across the ICS also allowed the standardisation of patient care and quick access to the pumps across the group, both resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Following ongoing collaboration a clinically suitable and cost-effective option, for a set purchase plan on consumables with pumps readily available, was agreed with supplier KCI Medical*.

By collaborating, the trusts requirement within the ICS, the combined volume and spend will lead to a total of £384K in savings by April 2023.

The Benefits

  • Standardising on pumps and agreeing a spend for consumables, under one agreement ensures the ICS and the community have complete transparency on NPWT equipment being ordered and in use within the wider trusts. Managing one agreement means internal maintenance of invoices is far more manageable and streamlined
  • Collaborating with the ICS has proved successful and significant savings have been achieved
  • NPWT equipment is readily available for use in the organisation with nurses and clinicians familiar with training and use of the equipment
  • Buying consumables via the NHS Supply Chain framework has reduced time spent on purchasing from several different agreements with less invoices and general ledger maintenance.

Next Steps

For more information on Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Set Purchase Plans, or support from NHS Supply Chain on a standardisation project, please contact our Hospital Care Team. See our Useful Links section for Hospital Care Team contact details.

*KCI Medical were the chosen supplier for Cambridge and Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS). There may be other comparable solutions within the market that are suitable in addressing the challenges highlighted.