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NHS Supply Chain wins national procurement award

Monday 6 December 2010

  • Initiative has saved hospitals more than £60 million on medical equipment
  • Winner of prestigious award out of more than 1,000 entries

NHS Supply Chain, the national procurement and supply chain contract operated by DHL has won a healthcare procurement award from leading trade title, Health Service Journal (HSJ).

The organisation was honoured with the prestigious prize for its innovative method that saves NHS trusts time and money when acquiring large scale medical equipment, like MRI scanners.

Andy Brown, managing director for diagnostics at NHS Supply Chain says, “It’s extremely satisfying that the judges have recognised the financial and resource investment that we have made to provide a single capital equipment procurement channel for trusts. At NHS Supply Chain we endeavour to develop new ways of working that will help save hospitals time and money.”

Explaining how the project was led to success, Andy says, “We started with a national framework contract for imaging in 2007, and have since evolved it to cover over 20 types of equipment categories, including: decontamination, patient monitoring and anaesthesia.

“Our offer is now a full lifecycle management service for capital medical equipment. Over the past few years we have added maintenance contracts, leasing services and equipment disposal. Our planning services have also evolved to cover project management, multi year planning and procurement outsourcing.”

Jason Lavery, trading manager for capital equipment adds, “With DHL’s investment, NHS Supply Chain has been able to commit over £30 million of spend to suppliers on key programs like digital mammography and ultrasound which has delivered substantial price reductions onto trusts.”

From conception to the present day, Jason and his team calculate they have achieved NHS savings of over £60 million and have become the method by which over 50% of all capital equipment within the NHS is procured.

Jason continues, “Our services are designed to cover everything needed for the planning, purchase, maintenance and disposal of capital equipment. With the flexibility for trusts to decide exactly what level of involvement they require from us.”

“Our knowledge of the marketplace is combined with a deep understanding of the special requirements of the NHS. This means that when we offer solutions that are going to work in the real world, where restricted finances and the ideals of healthcare have to live side by side.”

Some of the significant benefits the capital initiative has achieved since its inception include:

  • Quantifiable savings of over £60 million;
  • Removal of a trust’s need to tender themselves through the Official Journal of the European Union;
  • Increased speed of procurement
  • Cost effectiveness;
  • Alignment to Department of Health policies;
  • Process enhancement;
  • Access to new technologies

Discussing future plans, Andy Brown says, “Over the next five years our focus will be to address the constraints of capital funds in the NHS by: using alternative funding models; the expansion of capital equipment planning; increased project management for trusts; and driving collaboration between trusts regionally and nationally.

“We will also be looking at clinical pathways to achieve a deeper understanding of how healthcare policy is evolving so that we procure the most effective equipment. We want to totally transform the way in which capital medical equipment is planned, procured and managed in the NHS to deliver more value”

Alastair McLellan, the editor of Health Service Journal says,” The NHS remains an inspiration for health systems across the world. In the toughest year for the NHS for over a decade, the HSJ Awards prove once again that the service remains a centre of excellence.”

The HSJ Awards reward the best innovation, ideas and dedication found throughout the healthcare sector.


Notes to editors
Media enquiries
Andrew Brentnall on 07766 513181 or email
Jayesha Mistry on 07738 071826 or email

Photographs of Jason Lavery; and the NHS Supply Chain team collecting the award available on request.

HSJ Awards
The Health Service Journal Awards are recognised as a huge accolade and are organised by leading weekly magazine Health Service Journal. For more information on The Health Service Journal Awards go to

The Health Service Journal Awards 2010 is organised by Health Service Journal and is part of Emap Inform. For more details about Health Service Journal see

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 as agent of the NHS Business Services Authority on behalf of the Department of Health. It 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 620,000 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 across eight locations.

Delivering value to the NHS