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Clinical Council Project Delivers 30% Total Savings Across Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Devices

15 July 2021

Key Achievements

Tower 6 Clinical Case Study Key Achievements


Working collaboratively

A partnership formed between South London Cardiac Provider Collaborative, an existing Operational Delivery Network (ODN) and NHS Supply Chain for this PCI project. The ODN gave NHS Supply Chain access to a network of clinicians to sit on the clinical council and act as voting members.

Trusts involved include:

  • Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  • King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
  • Croydon University Hospital.

The Challenge

Removal of unwarranted variation

Previously, the main trusts within this area were operating at an individual level. The ODN was established which introduced a collective approach. As the procurement provider for these products, we enabled a clinical council, to drive down unwarranted variation, understand the best clinical choice of product and create a saving.

The Solution

A closer working relationship

A close relationship between the ODN and NHS Supply Chain has been formed and will continue throughout the length of this contract, which is a two-year agreement with additional two-year extension available. Commitment was agreed by trusts as a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by each party before work on the project began and NHS Supply Chain resource allotted. From scoping, the timeline for the full process was eight months.

Process Undertaken

A clinically evaluated approach

The process consisted of three face to face clinical council meetings. Strategy was discussed and voted on. Although NHS Supply Chain’s clinical consultants facilitated and guided the process, each part of the evaluation process was decided on by the interventional cardiology consultants forming the clinical council.

Emphasis was placed on clinical data and the criteria supplied. In addition, the process relied on clinical evaluations for the area of highest spend, which is drug eluting stents (DES). The clinical council agreed to standardise 90% of DES usage between two suppliers and standardise balloon catheters to 90% with one supplier. The outcome of this strategy has led to over 30% savings, on a total basket of spend in this area.

Throughout the process suppliers were consulted and these relationships have proven to be significant to the success of the project. The project was explained to participating suppliers and communication kept open throughout. Collaboration especially during the clinical evaluation process was vital.

The outcomes of this project speak for themselves, demonstrating how successful an approach combining a physician-led process with the expertise of NHS Supply Chain’s team can be - benefitting both patients and the NHS.Gerald Carr-White, Consultant Cardiologist
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

The Results

A clinically led procurement exercise resulting in savings and standardisation

The clinically led procurement exercise was compliant, stringent and well managed. All the trusts took advantage of longer-term commitment in the contract, as they have agreed to the extensions available for some product areas.

The overall outcome of the South London PCI clinical council is that over £1.3 million of projected savings per year will be realised.

In addition, a standardisation in the use of medical devices has been achieved over the South London area.

NHS Supply Chain has committed to manage this contract for the duration of its length to maximise the future savings potential, keep the commitments aligned and to manage supplier relationships throughout.

What You Can Do Now

If you’d like to understand how we can support your trust to deliver savings in this area, please speak to our NHS Supply Chain Hospital Care Team.

See our Useful Links section for further information about NHS Supply Chain: Cardio-vascular, Radiology, Endoscopy, Audiology and Pain Management.