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Driving the way forward

Thursday 29 November 2018

Jin Sahota spent two years at the Department of health and Social Care establishing the future operating model for the new NHS Supply Chain. Now, as the organisation's CEO he talks about what's changed.

Over the next five years we have set ourselves an ambitious goal of delivering £2.4bn of
savings for the NHS by providing clinically assured, high-quality products at the best value for NHS trusts, by using the immense collective purchasing power of the NHS.

Our contribution ensures that each pound
we liberate from negotiating a better deal is another pound for our frontline services and, in turn, for enhancing patient care.

Why was there a need to transform NHS procurement?

Often overlooked, procurement is an area that commands high spend; it can make a real difference and bring money back to the frontline. The NHS currently spends £5.7bn on everyday hospital consumables, common goods, high-value healthcare consumables, and capital medical equipment. Although savings have been made in procurement, there is still huge potential for the NHS.

In February 2016, Lord Carter published a report identifying unwarranted variation in procurement across the NHS and the need to improve operational efficiencies in the way the NHS chooses, uses, and purchases supplies. Following the report, the Procurement Transformation Programme was established by the DHSC to undertake this transformation and deliver a new NHS Supply Chain.

The new NHS Supply Chain

The new operating model for NHS Supply Chain is now in place and operational. There are 11 specialist Category Tower service providers delivering medical, capital and non-medical products and services, and two support services for logistics and supporting technology.

The management function of the new NHS Supply Chain, Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL), manages the towers and ensures that they work on behalf of the NHS to deliver clinical and non-clinically assured, high-quality products at the best value. The towers will do this through a more sustainable approach, including more rigorous and responsive management of supplier accountability, as well as through category strategy development. Our goal of saving £2.4bn by 2022-23 will be achieved by:

  • Reducing unwarranted price variation and increase product range optimisation across the NHS;
  • Delivering clinically-assured, high-quality products at the best value and supporting procurement activity across the NHS;
  • Leveraging the buying power of the NHS at a national level;
  • Increasing usage of NHS Supply Chain from 40% to 80%.

Read the full article from the National Health Executive

Delivering value to the NHS