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Procure4Health Conference 2016

Thursday 21 July 2016

This year’s Procure4Health Conference took place in Birmingham on July 13. The event provided over 1000 delegates, both professionals engaged within the delivery of NHS procurement and suppliers to the healthcare sector, with a platform to connect and share best practice. The day’s activities were aligned to the challenges and opportunities facing today’s NHS procurement marketplace.

“Realising the full productivity and efficiency opportunities set out in this review will be challenging. We have learnt from our conversations with trusts that close engagement and collaboration are essential and that this supportive approach needs to be maintained”
Lord Carter’s final report on Operational Productivity in the NHS, February 2016.

NHS Supply Chain was an official event partner and had a stand at the event. Nick Hutton, Head of Category, Infection Control, Domestic Management and Office Solutions at NHS Supply Chain spoke of ‘Supporting the NHS of the Future’ with a ‘Procurement Best Practice Case Study on Examination Gloves’. He explained the stages in the journey to lower the price of gloves for consumers and how the category management sourcing programme is embedded in the culture of the buying teams. Nick Hutton also highlighted the cash releasing savings NHS Supply Chain is committed to deliver and has already delivered: £150m in April 2016 and a further £150m by September 2018.

Nick Hodgson, Supplier Development Advisor, Royal Devon and Exeter FT and Andrew Varley, Clinical Procurement Specialist, Taunton and Somerset NHS FT held an interesting session on NHS Savings Swop Shop. They explained how 12 trusts in their region get together on a monthly basis and swap savings ideas. One of the savings successes they discussed was with NHS Supply Chain. “Buying exam gloves through NHS Supply Chain saved £40k. Once you replicate this over 8-9 trusts you can see how savings build,” said Andrew Varley.

They also made reference to the ‘small changes, big differences’ campaign that was developed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), NHS Supply Chain and the Clinical Procurement Specialist Network (CPSN), to help nursing staff use their unparalleled knowledge and experience to have a say in how their trust purchases and utilises key clinical supplies.

Mike Doyle, Assistant Director, NHS North West Procurement Development and Brian Mangan, NHS North West Procurement Development spoke of Collaboration and Working Together in Partnership – the Challenges and Opportunities. They also spoke of the small changes, big differences campaign and how it had promoted good procurement practices.  Mike Doyle shared examples of savings made when working with NHS Supply Chain and the NHS Business Services Authority such as on exam gloves £177k and £912k on stationery. “Our work with NHS Supply Chain has worked extremely well,” said Mike Doyle.

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