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Local students on the road to success

Syd Greig and staff and students from Mill Hill and Heanor Gate College

Friday 1 October 2010

  • Helping local students gain first hand employment experience, to build a brighter future
  • Second year of successful visits at NHS Supply Chain’s Alfreton depot

Results have been published for six Advanced IT Diploma, sixth form students from Heanor Gate Science College in Heanor and Mill Hill School in Ripley, Derbyshire. The students who have all achieved outstanding results had the opportunity to experience first hand how an established organisation such as NHS Supply Chain operates. It’s a rare glimpse of how so many different and complex functions are seamlessly united through various IT applications which caters to business needs.

The students were tasked with producing 90 second video shorts for NHS Supply Chain, detailing how IT is utilised within the organisation. The students who have all now completed their Advanced Diploma in IT were fascinated by the extent of the NHS Supply Chain site in Alfreton and were intrigued by the numerous different ways IT had been applied and used by the four hundred employees who are based on site.

The students have used this experience to gain a better understanding of how businesses operate and what will potentially be required of them when they venture into the workplace. The visit has encouraged students to further progress their studies by either going to university or pursuing professional apprenticeships.

Syd Greig the general manager in Alfreton said, “It’s a pleasure to be able to help local students with their projects. This is the second year that we have been involved with local students who are completing the Advanced Diploma in IT and it’s great to be able to see how professional the finished projects are. The marks that the students have been awarded have been well deserved, and I look forward to Alfreton distribution centre hosting a new group of students next year”.

Students were given a tour of the NHS Supply Chain site before gaining a deeper understanding of the application of IT within the business by interviewing key staff who manage core functions within the organisation. This involved the customer services, IT services, warehouse operations and the inventory control teams.

Danielle Whittingham, a student at Heanor Gate Science College says, “This is a great opportunity for us, as without the support of NHS Supply Chain I wouldn't’t have been able to get the great images and  information that is so essential for me to make a realistic and informative video short to successfully complete my course”.

Rebecca Till, Diploma Coordinator and Lead Assessor adds, “NHS Supply Chain is the biggest organisation that has committed to helping our students create an authentic and professional video. The students would struggle to complete their projects without exposure to how real organisations operate”.

Rebecca continues, “The staff at NHS Supply Chain really welcomed us and ensured that our students were well looked after. The feedback that Syd has given to last years students has meant that we are able to build and develop a credible task for the students to complete. The Advanced Diploma in IT is tailored to giving our students the skills and experience that will be invaluable to them when they venture into full time employment. The continued support and development that has been given by NHS Supply Chain has certainly helped us to achieve our targets”.

NHS Supply Chain is committed to assisting the development of young people. Earlier this year NHS Supply Chain’s site in Rugby offered employment to three young people who successfully completed a Prince’s Trust programme to get them into work.


Notes to editors
For more information please contact:
Jayesha Mistry on: 07738 071 826 or email:

About NHS Supply Chain
NHS Supply Chain is a government contract operated by DHL since 2006. It supports the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organisations in England and Wales by providing end to end supply chain solutions.

The organisation was formed from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). It is operated by DHL on behalf of the NHS Business Services Authority and aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

The NHS Supply Chain contract manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 600 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations. It provides a single point of access to over 600,000 products ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and even diagnostic equipment such as MRI scanners.

Its management of the procurement process negates an NHS organisation’s need to tender through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Costs can also be reduced through its one-route solution that consolidates all products onto one invoice and delivery – this saves up to £1 per product in back office administration costs and removes up to 60 deliveries going into a trust compared with ordering goods separately.

To ensure that its products are fit for today’s healthcare market, NHS Supply Chain works with suppliers of all sizes to ensure its range embraces high quality and innovative products; and engages with clinicians, the Department of Health and academic institutions to make sure that it is aware of the current requirements and latest developments in clinical practice.

NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include:

  • theatres
  • dental
  • audiology
  • catering, including food
  • infection control
  • orthopaedics
  • rehabilitation
  • capital equipment, including finance and maintenance

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

Delivering value to the NHS