Skip to main content

Key Messages From the National Customer Board March 2022

7 April 2022

The National Customer Board met virtually on 16 March with nine members meeting for the first time this year. Sir James Mackey, Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, chaired the meeting. Here are the key messages from the meeting:

Resilience Working Group

There were strong discussions on the work of the Resilience Working Group in particular the work done on communications and Important Customer Notices (ICNs). Recognition that improvements and change has happened, such as the weekly prioritised consolidation ICN notice and supply chain mapping which allows NHS Supply Chain to work more pro-actively to alleviate the impact of global events.

Working in partnership has delivered results but we are very aware that this is very much a work in progress. Resilience remains a key area that will be closely monitored.


Sara Ford, Director of Strategy, Communications and Digital for NHS Supply Chain gave an overview of the upcoming changes to the existing NHS Supply Chain model. When the operating model was set up back in 2018 it had a focused strategy which is now being broadened out in the Target Operating Model.

The progress of the Target Operating Model was discussed and how it would support the vision for the future of NHS Supply Chain. There were plenty of discussions on all of the changes to come with this opportunity to shape how NHS Supply Chain can support the NHS Long Term Plan.

Market Engagement sessions have been taking place on the Target Operating Model and further Customer engagement sessions are being set up following feedback from the Regional Customer Boards.

Regional meetings

The Regional Chairs fed back from their own Board meetings. The key focus was on:

  • Supply chain disruption and resilience and the impact this is having across trusts and Integrated Care System (ICSs).
  • The impact of cost pressures on Cost Improvement Programmes (CIPs) and the requirement for earlier visibility of price increases to facilitate better planning.
  • Appetite to do more around strategy development with Category Tower Service Providers and how the Lead Reference Trust programme can be developed.

Next meeting

At the end of the meeting Sir James Mackey thanked members for their ongoing contribution and support. The next meeting of the National Customer Board is on 21 June 2022.