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Reducing the impact of price updates on your operations

Friday 15 July 2016

Important new process coming August 2016 - reducing the impact of price updates on your operations.

Historically, NHS Supply Chain price updates have been made to the online catalogue at varying times throughout the month, dependent upon the type of update and when we have been notified.

Starting on 15 July 2016 with Phase 1, this will change. After this date, all national price updates will now be scheduled to go-live each month, on the first working day - commencing 1 August 2016. The addition of new and delisted products will continue to happen throughout the month, as they are required.

Why is this happening?

As part of the on-going dialogue between NHS trusts, the NHS Business Services Authority and NHS Supply Chain, NHS trusts have been asking for ways to reduce the impact of price updates on their operations.

Working with NHS trusts including The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Bristol & Weston NHS Purchasing Consortium, it has been identified that moving price updates so they only take place on just one agreed day per month, rather than many, will assist trusts to do this by:

  • Providing greater stability, helping trusts more easily manage and minimise the potential impact of price updates
  • Enabling greater control over catalogue management and the reporting of potential savings
  • Enabling greater visibility of when price updates are taking place, via a forward view calendar
  • Help trusts to plan and allocate their resource more effectively, across 12 concentrated periods of price updates every year, instead of many.

“This is a welcome initiative which should reduce the frequency of updates on our NHS Supply Chain GHX catalogue.”
Steve Russell, Materials Management and Stores Manager
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

When is this happening?
We are undertaking a phased project roll-out, to understand key learning's at each stage before progressing to the next, with the intention this will support a smoother transition:

Phase 1 (July / August 2016)

  • The process of working towards the consolidation and implementation of national price updates into a ‘single batch’ will start taking place from 15 July 2016 with price updates then occurring on the 1st working date of each month.
  • The first scheduled ‘single batch’ national price update will take place on 1 August 2016.
  • Thereafter, ‘single batch’ national price updates will take place the first working day of every month. For a forward view please see our Price Update Calendar.

Phase 2 and 3 (Timings TBA)

  • Phase 2: Process for new regional prices - to be reviewed following launch of phase 1
  • Phase 3: Process for new specialised prices e.g. for areas such as Cardiology and Orthopaedics, where a trust specific procurement arrangement has been undertaken and new pricing has been agreed - to be reviewed following launch of phase 2.

What you will need to do?

  • If you are an existing eDC or Online Catalogue & Ordering user:
    If you order via either of these methods and download your orders directly to NHS Supply Chain you will see no difference, as prices will be updated automatically on the 1st working date of each month in line with the Pricing Update Calendar.
  • If you are using a third party purchase order system:
    We advise that you review how you receive your pricing feeds and ensure your system can accommodate the new process. If your system cannot accommodate these changes you may experience incorrect prices, invoice mismatches and discrepancies in usage report values. We recommend that your catalogue is refreshed to reflect new pricing in line with the published pricing update calendar and you work with your system / catalogue provider to ensure this is achieved.
  • Frequently Asked Questions  

Need support?

We are here to support you through this transition.  Please contact your normal Customer Services contact or your usual NHS Supply Chain IT Helpdesk for system related issues and they will direct your query to make sure you get the right support.

And don’t forget - you will still be able to track your savings in the normal way, using our suite of tailored Savings Reports.

Savings Reports (Please note: you will need to be logged into the website to access these).

Savings Reports - User Guide

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