Skip to main content

New Approach and Process for Interaction with Suppliers

21 June 2024

Since 2018, the needs of the NHS have evolved and geopolitical issues and policy changes – including wars, the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS sustainability goals, the development of Integrated Care Systems, and increasing demand for healthcare in the face of strained government budgets – have brought forth the need to make our supply chain nimbler and more resilient.

NHS Supply Chain’s vision and purpose are clear: we are here to make it easier for the NHS to deliver for patients, helping them save lives and improve health. To do that, we needed to adopt our new operating model.

In October 2023, the structural changes to our organisational design were completed, with the insourcing of six key Category Towers.

As part of the restructure, the newly formed Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) team look after the active management of NHS Supply Chain’s suppliers to maximise value over the full relationship life cycle.

By shaping the approach and process for interaction with suppliers, SRM provides a structure by which supplier relationships are defined, governed and improved to realise value in keeping with the strategic objectives of NHS Supply Chain, and for the mutual gain of both parties. 

This structure has been aligned into the following four distinct workstreams:

  • Formal SRM Programme – responsible for building a Supplier Relationship Management programme and managing the relationships with our Strategic, Preferred and Key suppliers of which there are currently 32.
  • Supplier Development – engage and work with our Categories, functions and Supplier base, outside of the contracting process, to increase our supply chains capability and capacity in line with our NHS Supply Chain Strategy.
  • Innovation – working closely with our strategic partners in NHSE and NICE to harness supplier innovation and continually develop our future roadmap and improve our innovation pathways.
  • Supplier Performance and Risk – developing the processes, tools and templates to ensure performance expectations are met, improvements managed and risks mitigated.

See our Downloads ▼ section for a detailed Target Operating Model update.

Downloads ▼

  • NHS Supply Chain Target Operating Model

    A detailed Target Operating Model update, outlining the new structure, what this means for our NHS, and how we will continue to Buy Smart, Supply Right and Partner Expertly.