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Collaborative Working Achieves £311,000 Savings on Sutures  

16 February 2023

I’m really pleased with how our trusts work collaboratively within the ICS to get the best possible outcomes for our region in relation to savings and cost efficiencies.

The provider organisations helped guide NHS Supply Chain to ensure a flexible approach under the framework to allow us to get the best possible results and to ensure we have the ongoing support required to make this, and future projects, a success.

This is a fantastic saving on sutures driven by the ICS clinical group and trust leads working with the NHS Supply Chain team. Thank you to all involved.

Chris Slater, MBE
ICS Provider Procurement Director, West Yorkshire and Harrogate.


The West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership is an Integrated Care System (ICS) that covers West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

Six NHS trusts within the partnership worked with NHS Supply Chain because they saw an opportunity to collaborate and combine their spending power to see if they could make savings on sutures, which are used to close incisions from surgery.

The trusts involved were:

  • Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.


NHS Supply Chain was asked to work with the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership to identify opportunities to consolidate the combined spend of the six NHS trusts on sutures and make savings for all the trusts involved. The use of a National Pricing Matrix (NPM) with Johnson & Johnson was seen as the potential solution.


To qualify for an NPM with Johnson & Johnson the trusts within the ICS needed to make spend commitments. Some of the trusts also needed to switch their spend from other suture suppliers, while others had had to commit to increase their spend to levels required to activate the NPM.

This process required negotiation and agreement between all the trusts to achieve their shared aims.

The Process

The ICS NHS trusts outlined and shaped the solution they were seeking. Our Sterile Intervention and Associated Consumables team worked closely with them to facilitate meetings and validate the necessary data required to make decisions.

This collaborative approach to tackling the challenges that were faced was crucial in ensuring the success of the project. Regular meetings were held to understand the detail of the data to show how solutions could be found.

The project group was Andrea Ramsey, Purchasing Manager from Mid Yorkshire; Racheal Wakeford, Lead Nurse for Procurement, from Airdale; Rob Watt, Procurement Officer, from Harrogate; George Anderson, Head of Contracts (Clinical), from Leeds; Zahra Sikander, Procurement Officer, from Bradford and Jaqui Yuen, Supply Chain Manager, Calderdale and Huddesfield Solutions Ltd. They were supported by NHS Supply Chain Senior Category Manager Rob Wilcockson, Category Manager Sylwia Wiaderna and Customer Relationship Managers Darren Machen and Martin Hale.

The Results

3 year
NPM agreement

signed up to by all trusts

£311,000 combined savings

across the ICS

trust made savings

on its sutures spend

  • All of the trusts have signed up to a three-year National Pricing Matrix agreement with Johnson & Johnson transacted via NHS Supply Chain
  • A combined saving of £311,000 has been made
  • Each individual trust has made a saving on its suture spend at a time of significant inflationary pressure.

This has been a really good project that shows the benefits that collaborative working can bring.

Good communication and a willingness of all parties to sit down and find the opportunities for mutual benefit have ensured good savings at a time of global inflationary pressures.

We are keen to talk to other trusts about the opportunities that working in collaboration, particularly through Integrated Care Systems, can achieve.

Rob Wilcockson
Senior Category Manager for NHS Supply Chain: Sterile Intervention and Associated Consumables.

Next Steps

To understand how we can support your trust to work collaboratively and deliver savings, please speak to your NHS Supply Chain Hospital Care Team