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Nurses' expert input needed for NHS product selection

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Task Force programme aims to provide the best quality products for today’s healthcare needs

NHS Supply Chain is seeking nurses to join its various Task Forces to play a key role in helping the organisation evaluate prospective products and understand current clinical needs.

The Task Force programme supports NHS Supply Chain’s tender process by bringing together clinical end users, like nurses, to assess products that they would use on a day-to-day basis.

This helps to ensure that the most appropriate medical equipment is offered through NHS Supply Chain and that they meet the highest standards of quality and safety.

The aims of the NHS Supply Chain Task Force programme are as follows:

  • ensure relevant clinical input to procurement and supply chain processes
  • support patient care by delivering quality products at best value
  • evaluate and promote innovation and its adoption into the NHS

“Nurses are one of the core groups of clinicians we want to work with. Their unique insight, expertise and opinions are invaluable to us,” says Emma Tandy, Task Force Manager for NHS Supply Chain. By becoming a Task Force member they have the opportunity to influence the range of products we supply for their use.

“We really value their support and feedback to ensure that appropriate product specifications and ranges are clearly defined and evaluated so that NHS Supply Chain products are accepted by the wider clinical community.”

Emma continues, “Task Forces are grouped into specialist areas, so we assess an applicant’s relevant knowledge, skills and experience as well as breadth of responsibility and the length of time they’ve worked in their current position.

“It’s our aim to make Task Force membership as convenient as possible. Evaluation groups usually meet twice during the course of the procurement process. We appreciate how busy nurses are so we can come and meet individuals face-to-face.

“The feedback we have had from nurses already involved is hugely positive and those who have taken part have learned something new or seen a new perspective. Many have also commented on how it has helped with their continuous personal development.”

Samantha Davenhill, a Theatre Practitioner at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, recently took part in a Task Force for Single-use Drapes and Gowns. She comments, "Taking part was a great opportunity to give an opinion on the products supplied to our trust. After all, we are the people who use these products every day so it's important to make sure they are right."

Emma concludes, “We have over 40 Task Forces planned this year looking at anything from dressings and medical packs, to suction consumables and dental equipment, so there are lots of opportunities for nurses to get involved.”

Current Task Forces seeking recruitment include: infection control, patient blood & fluid warming, urology, dressings, diathermy plates and pencils, medical packs and stoma care & accessories.


Notes to editors
Current Task Forces recruiting are:
Anaesthesia and Resuscitation Consumables Task Force
Conference call: September 2010
Suction Consumables Task Force
Conference call: September 2010
IV Task Force
Product evaluation: September 2010
Bladder Scanning Task Force
Meeting date: October 2010 (tbc)
Dental Equipment Task Force
Product evaluation: October/November 2010
Electrodes, Gels and Defibrillation Task Force
Meeting date: members engaged on application
Enteral Feeding Systems and Consumables Task Force
Meeting date: individual meetings being arranged
Foetal Scalp Electrodes Task Force
Meeting date: members engaged on application
Medical Chart and Recording Paper Task Force
Meeting date: members engaged on application
Patient Blood and Fluid Warming Task Force
Meeting date: members engaged on application
Stoma Care and Accessories Task Force
Meeting date: members engaged on application
Dressings Task Force
Meeting date: October 2010
Oxygen Therapy Task Force
Evaluation day: October 2010 (tbc)
Wound Drainage Systems and Post Operative Autologous Blood Transfusion Task Force
Evaluation day: October 2010 (tbc)
Medical Packs Task Force
Product evaluation: November 2010
Urology Task Force
Evaluation day: November 2010 (tbc)
Camera and Equipment Drapes Task Force
Meeting date: December 2010 (tbc)
Infant Feeding Task Force
Product evaluation: January/February 2011 (tbc)
HAIC (Healthcare Acquired Infection Control) Strategic Task Force
Meeting date: individual meetings being arranged

Media enquiries
Andrew Brentnall
01773 724196 or 07766 513181
Jayesha Mistry
07738 071826

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 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. (Figures taken from value proposition study - NHS Supply Chain/DH/NHSBSA)

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
  • orthopedics
  • 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