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Customer Board statement

Tuesday 8 March 2016

The NHS Supply Chain Customer Board chaired by Sir Ian Carruthers OBE will be renamed the NHS Customer Board and facilitated by the NHS Business Services Authority.

The change of name and facilitation of the NHS Customer Board is to reflect the broader scope of the Board as it forms part of Lord Carter’s recommendations designed to provide real terms cost savings of 10-15% by 2020/21, in his report ‘Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations’ which supports the continuation of the Customer Board.

The facilitation of the Board by the NHS Business Services Authority will ensure the continued independence of the Board and the team currently managing it will be TUPED to join the NHS Business Services Authority as of the 1 March 2016.

Over the past 18 months, under the Chairmanship of Sir Ian Carruthers, the Board has supported NHS Supply Chain with its savings programmes with the objective of delivering £150m of cash releasing savings to the NHS and embraced the £300m savings target to be delivered by September 2018.  To date, £138 million has been saved.

The Customer Board brings together chief executives, highly experienced NHS clinicians, procurement and finance professionals from across the country working together to deliver efficiency savings which enable greater resource to be directed towards patient care.  The chairs of the four local Customer Boards and the Clinical Reference Board are all members of the National Board chaired by Sir Ian along with representatives from the Department of Health, NHS Supply Chain, the NHS Business Services Authority and Crown Commercial Services.

The Chair(s) of the four local Customer Boards and the Clinical Reference Board are:

  • North: Mick Guymer, Director of NHS North West Procurement Development
  • Midlands: David Melbourne, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • Southern: Suzanne Tracey, Director of Finance and Business Development at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
  • Clinical Reference Board: Mandie Sunderland, Director of Nursing at Nottingham University Hospitals
  • London: Following Bill Shields’ resignation, a new Chair is being appointed.

Sir Ian Carruthers said: “By facilitating interaction with trusts through the four local Customer Boards and the Clinical Reference Board we have been able to accelerate change to help deliver cash releasing savings for the NHS. I am looking forward to building on these achievements through chairing the NHS Customer Board and working with NHS Supply Chain, the NHS Business Services Authority, Crown Commercial Services and the Department of Health to represent the voice of the NHS and deliver best value for patients and the tax payer.”

Steven Pink, Director of Change and Commercial Delivery at the NHS Business Services Authority said: "We will be continuing our work with Customer Board members and key stakeholders to deliver the savings that were outlined in Lord Carter’s recent report.  We are looking forward to facilitating the NHS Customer Board; this will help the drive towards delivering more for the NHS. ”   

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