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NHS Supply Chain working with suppliers to create efficiences for the NHS

Monday 7 October 2013

NHS Supply Chain recently held the second in a series of Supplier Partnership Workshops. Building on the success of the first event in June, the Workshop provided NHS Supply Chain and its suppliers with an open forum to discuss new ways of reducing costs to generate greater efficiencies for the NHS.

With the recent publication of the Department of Health’s Procurement Strategy this event comes at a crucial time for both suppliers and NHS Supply Chain, enabling them to find new and innovative ways of reducing costs and saving the NHS money.

Joanna Timmerman, Managing Director of Procurement at NHS Supply Chain and Chair of the event opened the Workshop, with the theme ‘Innovate, collaborate and deliver together’, by sharing the experiences of Daniels Healthcare. By working in collaboration with NHS Supply Chain to remove costs from the supply chain, this SME saves nearly 1,000 pallets through packaging efficiencies. “This, together with other efficiency initiatives, enabled Daniels Healthcare to hold manufactured product pricing at the same level to NHS Supply Chain for 7 years – a great example of partnership success,” explains Joanna.

Interactive workshop sessions provided the opportunity for key decision makers from Logistics, Operational and Sales backgrounds to come together and discuss cost-down initiatives, how they can be achieved and address challenges.

The Workshop focused on four key areas:

  • Improving efficiencies end-to-end in the supply chain
  • Understanding better ways of purchasing
  • Managing demand through volume commitment
  • Speeding up adoption of innovative solutions.

Andy Brown, Programme Director, NHS Procurement Development Programme at the Department of Health attended the event as a guest speaker. He addressed the audience on the need to support the NHS in the adoption of modern supply chain systems. “In my whole procurement career I’ve never seen such an interest in procurement which is great,” said Andy. “The newly released Procurement Strategy is not just about reducing prices and making sacrifices. It’s about having a reasoned view of stakeholders and the market to deliver a sustainable procurement model for the future,” concludes Andy.

“Working with our suppliers on ways to reduce costs and bring greater efficiencies for the NHS is one of our top priorities,” says Joanna Timmerman. Together we can draw upon the huge wealth of procurement knowledge and experience to deliver the mutually beneficial changes that will ultimately make the difference.”

Since the first Supplier Partnership Workshop, 21 new cost reduction projects have been generated with suppliers who attract a total spend of £205 million through the NHS Supply Chain route.

To find out more about NHS Supply Chain’s Supplier Partnership Workshops please visit:


Media enquiries:

Jayesha Mistry
07738 071826

Tom Stone
07730 202668

Joanna Morrison
07776 457201

Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

Follow us on Twitter: @NHSSupplyChain

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 in 2006 from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). NHS Supply Chain aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

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.

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. (*source: NHS Supply Chain 2009 value proposition study with Southampton NHS trust)

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 ten locations.

Delivering value to the NHS