Information for Clinical Choice – One Year On

19 July 2022

The introduction of ICC has enabled all product information to be consolidated in one place meaning we can identify the key criteria for clinical change easily and utilise that evidence base to inform our own local choices. We know the packs have had clinical input which gives us the confidence to review changes more quickly and ensure we are improving quality and safety in our local procurement projects.

Liam Horkan, Head of Clinical Procurement, East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Background

It’s been a whole year since Information for Clinical Choice (ICC) was launched by NHS Supply Chain, and we thought there was no better time to share some of the successes since its launch.

June 2021 saw the first ICC for Gravity Solution Administration Sets and Gravity Blood Sets. The visual product matrix, showing clear alternatives provided time pressed clinicians a tool to enable them to assess clinical suitability of alternative products available to them. The comprehensive and proficient deck of information has enabled clinicians to make choices on products with a greater level of confidence. The product matrix and support document are the result of a product review conducted by NHS Supply Chain’s Clinical teams, with support from clinical stakeholders from across the NHS and with suppliers’ validation.

The aim is to ensure that clinical choice remains at the forefront of product switching decisions, and where supply chain issues are encountered, suitable clinical alternatives are available.

The Process

Every month our clinical team aim to launch a new ICC category, there are currently 25 available on the NHS Supply Chain website to download. The development of each ICC matrix takes an enormous amount of time, expertise, and commitment.  The clinical team access intelligence from national guidance documents relating to best practice and safety and follow the below process for each matrix:

  • Work with the category managers on identifying suitable categories for ICC
  • Produce the features and benefits criteria using a hands-on product assessment (HOPA) as well as research/information/specifications already developed for frameworks including any external test house data
  • Clinical Council and clinician comments on the criteria are developed – as applicable
  • Produce and populate the matrix
  • Supplier validation of each ICC matrix
  • Meeting with Clinical Nurse Advisors (CNA) team to review ICC documents
  • Clinical and Product Assurance (CaPA) review and approval.

Success So Far

143

trusts reviewing ICC opportunities

£84,000

savings to date

£12.1 million

potential savings

25

matrices available to download

We were recommended the switch by the ICC Group, after clinical approval the transition has been fairly seamless and our clinical colleagues are very happy with the product switch, which represents a £6,800 annual saving for the trust.

Christina Fletcher, Deputy Head of Procurement, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Benefits and Feedback

Feedback received from NHS Supply Chain Clinical Nurse Advisors, with whom the clinical teams have worked very closely with on this project, includes:

  • We’re enabling clinicians to make informed clinical choices
  • We’ve created a product comparison guide showing all available options with clearly defined product specifications
  • Visual images alongside the product specifications provides a holistic, one stop shop for to informed clinical decision making
  • Acts as a catalyst to enable discussions in Clinical Product Evaluation Group meetings with the opportunity to look at samples with all clinical data to hand

Next Steps

Our Information for Clinical Choice is updated on a monthly basis. See our Useful Links section to view and download all the relevant categories.