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Transforming supplies management will deliver efficiency savings for trusts

Wednesday 16 December 2009

North Middlesex becomes the first hospital in the UK to roll out innovative new inventory management system across all wards. Initial data reveals some wards were overstocked by 40%.

A ground-breaking new system which will revolutionise the way hospitals manage their (product) supply chains has been launched at North Middlesex.

NHS Supply Chain’s Managed Inventory Services (MIS) are underpinned by MedTrac, an inventory and requisitioning tool designed to strip out the inefficiencies in supplies management to help save costs and reduce wastage.

All items, from ward level products, such as bandages, through to high value items such as replacement hips, are tagged and monitored across the hospital using a unique tracking card.

The card scans each product as it is used in the hospital and can be operated either by a ward employee or an NHS Supply Chain staff member. This data is then used to highlight any efficiencies that can be achieved.

Glen McCracken, Head of Hospital Logistics Services at NHS Supply Chain, says: “MIS is an innovative, transparent way for hospitals to work out what they have in stock and what has been used, tracking every item across all hospital wards.”

North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust is the first hospital in the country to roll out MIS across its entire complex following a successful pilot.

Glen McCracken explains: “The pilot at the North Middlesex University Hospital revealed that some wards were overstocked by up to 40 per cent which carries the risk of some products passing their expiry date. MIS helps reduce such unnecessary wastage and saves money in the process. It will make stock checking far easier, and allow staff to devote their time and energy to other priorities such as front-line patient care.”

Jamie Parris, Head of Procurement at North Middlesex, says: “The MIS system has allowed the trust to have the visibility on stock consumption that it never had before. It has redefined and revolutionised the way materials are managed.”


Media enquiries:

Andrew Brentnall
01773 724196

Notes to editors

Benefits of using MIS

  • Helps track item use and its value to patient and clinicians
  • Provides total control and visibility of inventory
  • Prevents waste
  • Improves availability and service levels
  • Helps inform purchasing decisions
  • Enables stock to be reduced
  • Improves cash flow
  • Enables proactive management and ‘shuffle’ of stock to other wards
  • Reduces storage space requirements
  • Reduces clinical staff involvement

About NHS Supply Chain

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL on behalf of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Its aim is to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS so that resources are released for customers to focus on quality frontline patient care, manage costs and achieve sustainable value. NHS Supply Chain provides its services to over 600 NHS trusts and private healthcare providers and offers over 620,000 products. It manages the entire supply chain process for medical consumables - from the sourcing of products, right through to their delivery and supply.

Key services include:

By ordering through NHS Supply Chain, trusts negate the need to tender themselves through EU processes (OJEU). This saves trusts time and money on the lengthy tendering process.

NHS Supply Chain arranges the delivery of products to the required location.


NHS Supply Chain offers an electronic system to manage all transactions, including an online catalogue, online ordering and an e-billing system.

The range of over 620,000 products includes:

  • theatres
  • nursing
  • food and facilities
  • clinical markets
  • capital equipment

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in eight locations.

Delivering value to the NHS