The latest company news from NHS Supply Chain

Company news

Open letter from Mandie Sunderland

Mandie Sunderland

Mandie Sunderland is a member of the NHS Supply Chain Customer Board and Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Friday 24 April 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past eighteen months I have been working closely with a dedicated group from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), NHS Supply Chain and the Clinical Procurement Specialist Network (CPSN) on an exciting new campaign that can impact on our attempts to reduce clinical and consumable cost and waste without deterring from patient care.

I am sure that by now you will have heard about the small changes, big differences campaign which launched to tremendous support on the 24th March; but I just wanted to explain why this campaign is particularly close to my heart.

Having quality, safety and value at the frontline is all about empowering our nurses and midwives to harness their incredible knowledge within healthcare and the nursing profession. It is important that we utilise our experience to drive patient safety by standardising products which will ultimately reduce cost and waste and minimise risk by streamlining the vast array of products that are currently available; giving us the confidence that all nursing professionals will know how to effectively use each piece of kit.

One of the areas that we were keen to develop was a comprehensive toolkit to help nurses know that accessible support is available in a variety of easy to access formats. The toolkit comprises of handy tips, success stories, quick wins (savings opportunities) and ‘how to’ guides which provide useful information on how to engage and implement the campaign in your area. There are also case studies from trusts and an introduction to our Traffic Light Support System which helps to label products in your stock rooms to raise awareness of their cost before selection, driving efficiencies without creating any extra work.

Being a member of NHS Supply Chain’s Customer Board and chairing the Clinical Reference Board which feeds in to the National Customer Board has meant that I am able to raise awareness of the incredible work that nurses do across the country; but it also serves as an important vehicle to highlight some of the risks and challenges that we face. There is representation on the Clinical Reference Board from Directors of Nursing across the country and those that represent the Royal College of Nursing, Monitor and the Trust Development Authority.

I am proud to have championed some of the work that has contributed to this campaign in my own trust(s)* which has generated in excess of £770k1 savings to date. These savings were made by standardising products and implementing the Traffic Light Support System – to name but a few of the activities that we have undertaken. This is by no means the end and I will keep driving this agenda through the work undertaken by the Clinical Reference Board, in my own trust and of course through this campaign - effective shopping has a place in every space!

87% of the nurses that we surveyed back in December 2014 told us that they believed, that patient safety could be improved if nurses had greater involvement in the purchasing process. That’s a massive number of you who know just how important your insight in clinical products can be. This campaign is your opportunity to open conversations with your clinicians and procurement teams and my challenge to you is this - there is a significant potential savings opportunity here which would make a big difference in each and every trust. Will you get involved and share with us your savings and successes?

To find out more, get involved and download resources visit our campaign pages through the following links: 

1. Further information and breakdown of savings can be found in the small changes, big differences campaign handbook which can be downloaded from:
* The Traffic Light Support System was piloted whilst Mandie was at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trusts
** The savings were achieved whilst Mandie was at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

April 2015

Delivering value to the NHS