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Improving The Efficiency Of PPE Inventory Management

30 November 2021

A challenge facing many NHS trusts in the COVID-19 pandemic response has been managing PPE inventory. eDC Gold has been successfully used to assist trusts in tracking PPE stock.

eDC Gold is the NHS Supply Chain inventory management platform designed to manage consignment, high value, and critical care products. Providing the NHS with inventory visibility without license fees or upfront implementation costs, which are typically associated with healthcare inventory systems. See our Useful Links section for more information on eDC and eDC Gold.

With the rapid increase in PPE usage in response to COVID-19, to evenly distribute PPE products across the NHS, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) moved PPE to an auto-replenishment model. This required each trust and organisation to monitor their PPE usage and submit the data to the DHSC.

Initially, several trusts did not have a suitable inventory management system in place to accurately and efficiently submit the required PPE data.

Some organisations manually updated documents. For example, Wirral University Teaching Hospital started by utilising both a transactional and stock status report to feed into an MS Excel RAG report. Their data was then uploaded into NHS 360 foundry to advise the DHSC of what PPE stock the trust had and what was required.

Luton & Dunstable University Hospital had to report daily stock takes and burn rates to a variety of teams in many ways. The trust was reliant on a manual process of recording what PPE item area distributions, usage, and deliveries.

These were daily, manual tasks that were time consuming and had the potential for human error.

After implementing eDC Gold this enabled Wirral to:

  • Upload data easily and produce a RAG report for CEQ reporting.
  • Easily upload new products.
  • Easily delete products out.
  • Perform a manual stock take and amend in the system.
  • Release staff time by avoiding manual data entry.

The eDC Gold system streamlines the stock management process it saves us a huge amount of time. I like how the Gold system reduces the risk/frequency of human error as all we are doing is issuing in/out, and the system is keeping count of everything else for us. I also like how simple to use it is, there are no unnecessary steps to issuing/receipting in which makes the process straightforward.

Margaret Park, Inventory and Materials Management Service Manager, Wirral University Teaching Hospital

Whilst we hope that one day we will see a return to req point ordering of PPE via the NHS Supply Chain catalogue, in the meantime, eDC Gold is going to be an invaluable tool in allowing us to maintain our recording and reporting procedures in a much more efficient and streamlined manner. Huge thanks to the team for helping us to set up our PPE store and implement use of the system in such a short time frame, we are very grateful.

Helen Cook, Supply Chain Manager, Luton & Dunstable University Hospital

Interested in how we can support you with inventory management? Please request a consultation with us:

eCommerce Deployment (eDC) Team