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Orthopaedic Trauma Project Delivers £2.8 million Savings Over Four Years for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

27 January 2021

Key Achievements

Our trust benefited from working with NHS Supply Chain because we will save £2.8 million on orthopaedic trauma products over the next four years.

Dan Deakin, Consultant Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon and Head of Service Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery (QMC)

As a specialty we were unaware of this opportunity until we approached NHS Supply Chain.

Matt Dorrington, Specialty General Manager for Trauma and Orthopaedics (QMC)


Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) operates Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), also in Nottingham. QMC is the site of the Emergency Department, East Midlands Major Trauma Centre and the Nottingham Children’s Hospital. Nottingham City Hospital concentrates on planned care, with a cancer centre, heart centre and stroke services. It also has some emergency admissions. The two hospitals have more than 1,600 beds between them. They provide a full range of services to around 2.5 million people in the Nottingham area and specialist services to many more people from further afield.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust’s services are provided by around 14,500 staff. They work with universities across the East Midlands, particularly Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham, providing medical education for doctors, nurses and a range of associate professions.

Queen's Medical Centre

The Challenge

NUH NHS Trust spent £1.6 million on orthopaedic trauma last year. They wanted to find out if it was possible to save money, by moving to different suppliers or by rationalising their supply base through a procurement process.

The trust agreed with the department that they would reinvest a proportion of any savings back into the orthopaedic trauma department as a reward.

The Solution

Staff at the trust set up a meeting with the NHS Supply Chain, who reviewed their total usage data. They then converted this into set procedures, calculated the cost of the different supplier options and presented these to the trust. The different suppliers were invited to visit the department so clinicians could try their products.

This standardised process under the Total Orthopaedic Solutions Framework Agreement was managed and run by NHS Supply Chain’s regional Clinical Engagement and Implementation Manager, Tanya Smith, and supported by the regional Category Manager, Tristan Langford. Both of whom worked closely with the key clinical and non-clinical stakeholders across the trust.

The Result

A 45% reduction in cost – an expected £2.8 million saving over the next four years.

The trust went from two major suppliers to one. This year’s savings have been externally validated as £850,000, with £2.8 million savings projected over the next four years.

As a result of the agreement to share the savings, the department now has two new nurse practitioners and an educational package costing £400,000. This will support their activities over the next four years. The trust will reinvest £2.3 million saving on patient care.

The trust recommend that other trusts use the NHS Supply Chain to make similar savings. They particularly recommend that trusts negotiate internally, prior to starting a similar project, by offering the affected departments the opportunity to share in the savings made.


The trust recommends taking the following steps to make savings:

  • Work with NHS Supply Chain
  • Build consensus amongst clinicians
  • Negotiate directly with both the companies and your own trust, with support from the NHS Supply Chain regional orthopaedic team.

If you are interested in exploring how your trust could benefit from product switching or rationalisation, NHS Supply Chain can support by:

  • Facilitating supplier discussions
  • Outlining the products available via the online catalogue
  • Providing dedicated Hospital Care Team support.

Please contact your NHS Supply Chain: Orthopaedics, Trauma and Spine and Ophthalmology Hospital Care Team for further information.

Orthopaedics, Trauma and Spine, and Ophthalmology Customer Services