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NHS Supply Chain Welcomes the Public Accounts Committee Report into Managing High Value Equipment in England

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Welcoming the Public Accounts Committee’s report into ‘Managing high value equipment in the NHS in England’, Andy Brown, NHS Supply Chain’s Managing Director, Diagnostics, said: “We are currently working with the Department of Health to consider the recommendations in the report”.

The committee’s enquiry was convened to discuss the conclusions reached in the earlier NAO report, ‘Managing High Value Capital Equipment in the NHS in England’, which found that efforts to drive value for money from the NHS equipment budget was being frustrated by trusts’ failure to collaborate. The NAO report examined NHS trusts planning, procurement and use of expensive medical equipment in three areas: Computed Tomography scanners used for diagnosis, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Linear Accelerator (linac) machines for cancer treatment.

Mr Brown added: “Buying and maintaining equipment during times of budgetary restraint will provide a significant challenge for NHS trusts and our range of frameworks to plan, aggregate, purchase or lease and maintain high end equipment will be invaluable to the NHS. Our planning team use trusts’ capital equipment plans to identify opportunities to buy expensive capital equipment together and place multi-machine orders. This has resulted in additional savings over the framework prices of 12 per cent for mammography, 16 per cent for ultrasound and 19 per cent for flexible endoscopy”.

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Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

  1. NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL as Agent of the NHS Business Services Authority. 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 aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.
  2. NHS Supply Chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 1,000 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.
  3. 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 40 deliveries going into a trust compared with ordering goods separately.
  4. 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.
  5. NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include theatres, dental, audiology, catering including food, infection control, orthopaedics, rehabilitation and capital equipment including finance options and maintenance agreements.

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

Delivering value to the NHS