Resilience Working Group Blog

7 September 2022

A monthly blog sharing updates and outputs from the Resilience Working Group (RWG) meetings. See our Useful Links section for further information on this group.

August Updates – Published 7 September 2022

  • Following feedback from the Resilience Working Group a Resilience Dashboard is now published tracking the key numbers of Important Customer Notices (ICNs) published, ICNS updated, ICNs resolved, and the number of product codes subject to Control and Protect Demand Management. See our Downloads Section to access this file.
  • A Clinical Procurement Specialist Network (CPSN) Clinical Alternatives Products Support Call is now up and running. This group is a direct ask from the Resilience Working Group. It is a small, focused group of Clinical Procurement Specialists who meet on a weekly basis with NHS Supply Chain’s clinical teams. Each week they discuss potential alternatives and work around solutions for specific products where supply has been disrupted. A weekly meeting wrap-up is published online. See our Useful Links for more information on this group and to access the meeting outcomes.
  • RWG member, Liam Horkan, Head of Clinical Procurement, East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, presented an update on this group in the August NHS Supply Chain Customer Webinar. Highlights of his presentation included who the RWG are, what we do, the outcomes since the group started, and the importance of a collaborative approach between the NHS and NHS Supply Chain. See our Useful Links section for more information on the Monthly Customer Webinar series.

Coming soon:

  • An ICN Dashboard listing all ICN numbers, titles, and the number of product codes affected by each ICN.
  • The RWG has provided feedback on an NHS Supply Chain Resilience Briefing Document to assist NHS procurement colleagues in sharing our resilience measures to support their board submission. This document is undergoing its final internal review and will be published online soon.

July Updates – Published 12 August 2022

The group conversations have shifted focus from price increase mitigations to focusing on product availability, PPE, and Demand Management.

In July the Resilience Working Group (RWG) asked for:

  • More transparency across the Demand Management process.
    • We have published the full list of Demand Managed codes on our website for customers to access, within 24 hours of a RWG meeting.
    • Provided updates and clearer definitions on Demand Management online and in our Customer Webinar Series on 14 July 2022.
    • We are updating the Control Demand Managed catalogue reason to match the updated wording across our website and webinars.
  • Earlier visibility of price increase requests from suppliers to aid NHS trusts with financial planning and control.
    • Customer feedback from the group was included when we updated our quarterly Price Management Pack. For more information on this pack please contact your NHS Supply Chain Customer Relationship Manager.
    • We created a Price Increase Log where all supplier requests are documented.
    • Also, we developed a Pricing Update summary that is available behind a customer login on our website. See our Useful Links to access this summary.
  • More information to be available on the PPE Transition.
    • We have created a new webpage for this topic, shared an update in the 14 July 2022 Customer Webinar, and will continue to provide updates across these channels moving forwards. See our Useful Links to read the latest PPE Transition update.

Other ongoing activity informed by the work of the Resilience Working Group includes:

  • Resilience Dashboard to track key resilience metrics each month, such as the number of Important Customer Notices (ICNs) published and the number of products subject to Demand Management.
  • ICN Dashboard detailing the full list of products currently on an ICN and relevant information.
  • NHS Supply Chain Resilience Briefing Document to assist NHS procurement colleagues in sharing our resilience measures to support their board submission.

Additionally, there are long-term ICN Improvement projects that this group will feed into where appropriate. Such as improving the clinical content of ICNs, reviewing the ICN webpage layout and functionality, and an internal ICN automation project to speed up ICN creation.

June Update – Published 6 July 2022

Over the first half of this year the Resilience Working Group (RWG) conversations have been focussed on product availability communications and price increases. With feedback from this group, we have delivered various changes across the following areas to improve your experience.

Important Customer Notice (ICN) Communications

The group said that it is difficult to prioritise ICNs or find those most relevant and that the messaging was not clear in terms of the action trusts needed to take. To make ICNs easier to navigate we have:

  • Added filters to the ICN webpage for Field Safety, Supply Issues, and Contractual Changes have been introduced.
  • The content for price change ICNs was amended to have limited information publicly available with the full detail of the price change on the website behind a customer login. This is to minimise the risk of suppliers accessing details and then requesting additional price increases. The term ‘Contractual Changes’ refers to mid-framework price changes. See our Useful Links section to read more about recent and ongoing ICN improvements.

Reinstated the Weekly Customer Update

The RWG asked for the weekly summary to be reintroduced.

  • Following RWG feedback the weekly round-up email of key product activity was re-introduced. This covers ICNs, contract launches, and NCPs.
  • It has been reinstated with some improvements to the content:
    • Putting Supply Issue and Field Safety ICNs at the top of the email
    • Linking to the full update content on the webpage for further information on other ICNs.
  • Review of customer contacts to try and ensure the right people were getting the right information.

Negotiating Price Increases

There was an opportunity identified to involve customers in strategic pricing discussions with suppliers.

  • RWG members have been involved with strategic supplier discussions around price increases and supply disruption.
  • It has been extremely beneficial for our suppliers to hear directly from the NHS trusts on how much the price increases will impact patients and services.
  • Conversely, it is equally beneficial for the NHS to hear the supplier’s pressures in a challenging global market.

Resilience Working Group Blog Launched – Published 8 June 2022

At NHS Supply Chain across 2022/23 we are working on a number of projects and improvements that will strengthen our supply chain resilience.

To ensure we are working with the NHS to improve supply chain resilience, we created the Resilience Working Group (RWG) which meets fortnightly and is an opportunity for an open and honest discussion between our customers and NHS Supply Chain.

The RWG is made up of NHS Supply Chain and NHS partners to provide the customer voice into our activity.

Currently, our key themes are pricing, demand management, operational communications, and service reporting.

See our Useful Links section to find out more about the Resilience Working Group and our ongoing Resilience projects.