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NHS Supply Chain Is Deploying Inventory Management Capability Into Acute Hospitals 

31 March 2023

See our Useful Links section for further information about Inventory Management Systems (IMS).

NHS Supply Chain will be deploying inventory management and point of care solutions to connect the NHS. Aligning with NHS England’s priorities and operational planning guidance for 2023/2024, we are starting work on the deployment of In-Trust Inventory Management Systems (IMS). This programme also incorporates the outcomes of the Integrated Care System (ICS) pilot project that we recently collaborated on with 11 ICSs.

Our goal is to deploy in-hospital inventory management solutions to trusts who have limited capability in this area. A consistent approach to delivering inventory management capability will give visibility of inventory to NHS trusts and allow ICSs to aggregate insight. It will also allow NHS Supply Chain to leverage a system-wide view to reduce inventory costs, improve resilience, support clinical time being focused on clinical activities, and provide a safer patient experience. 

A compliant inventory management system from NHS Supply Chain would be a huge win for the NHS and a huge saving.

Stuart MacMillan
Leeds Teaching Hospitals and WYAAT 

The initial scope is to deploy inventory management and point of care solutions to 20 NHS trusts over the next two years. To achieve this ambition, we have awarded contracts to three suppliers: Elcom Systems Ltd, Genesis Automation (UK) and Ingenica Solutions Ltd.

NHS Supply Chain decided to partner with three suppliers to ensure we can make IMS available to all acute hospitals who sign up to the programme. This approach will provide more capacity and the ability to unlock value for the NHS quickly. We also recognise that individual NHS trusts may have different requirements and so having access to three solutions will provide better opportunities to meet these needs as well as align with ICS-level strategies and partnerships that may already be established.

Deciding which partner solution would best fit a local trust’s needs will be a collaborative process.

All three of our partners’ systems solutions can provide a compliant inventory management system including areas such as system integration and point of care scanning to help enable wider Scan4Safety objectives.

Over the coming weeks, further information will become available for NHS trusts on the opportunities available to participate in the programme and to understand the benefits for the wider system as well as to help shape and develop it. If NHS trusts would like to learn more about how they can get involved in this programme, then please contact:

In-Trust Inventory Management Systems (IMS) Team