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Department of Health (DH) signs Varian deal through Capital Equipment Fund operated by NHS Supply Chain

Monday 26 August 2013

NHS Supply Chain is pleased to announce the signing of a new bulk commitment deal with Varian Medical Systems, to secure 20 TrueBeam Linear Accelerator systems. This sizeable deal, announced by Health Minister, Lord Howe earlier today, demonstrates the benefits of aggregating volume across the entire NHS and the additional leverage the £300 million Capital Equipment Fund is providing.

Andy Brown, MD of Business Solutions at NHS Supply Chain says, “Radiotherapy equipment accounts for some of the most advanced medical equipment in the NHS. Linear Accelerators represent significant capital investment for NHS trusts, but by utilising good procurement models savings can be achieved to make them more affordable”.

“Across the NHS there are over 200 Linear accelerator machines which are more than five years old and there are 98 machines that have exceeded the 10 year recommended replacement time and need to be urgently replaced. We hope that this deal enables trusts to replace critically aged equipment and bring newer more clinically effective technology, such as image guided radiotherapy (IGRT), into hospitals” says Andy.

The deal, which was enabled through the Capital Equipment Fund operated by NHS Supply Chain represents a commitment investment of circa £30 million and has delivered savings in the region of 10% compared to when trusts buy systems individually.

“This is an important deal for the NHS and is a very important enabler for the NHS to modernise its asset base for Linear Accelerators, to provide the most technologically advanced cancer treatment as well as improving treatment times. NHS Supply Chain is committed to bringing more value to the NHS through good procurement and asset management in this way, across all types of capital medical equipment.” continues Andy.

The £300 million Capital Equipment Fund was created in March 2012 in response to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) requirements and has already achieved savings of £12.5 million against committed spend of £128 million.

David Scott, Sales Director at Varian Medical Systems, adds, “This new contract with NHS Supply Chain recognises the need for highly efficient, state of the art technology for the treatment of cancer in NHS hospitals. As a leading provider of radiotherapy equipment and software to the NHS, Varian is committed to ensuring NHS patients have access to cutting edge technology such as TrueBeam whilst also recognising that modern healthcare must be efficient and affordable”.

“This order will help ensure that today’s NHS meets all three of these targets and will allow more NHS patients to access to the latest techniques such as Stereotactic Radiotherapy and RapidArc® Radiosurgery. The commitment by NHS Supply Chain to purchase 20 TrueBeam systems represents a close alignment between Varian and the government’s goals of saving up to 10,000 more lives per year” concludes David.

“NHS Supply Chain is delighted to be able to bring value to the NHS in terms of savings of this magnitude by virtue of this arrangement with Varian and it’s a further demonstration of the excellent delivery and use of the DH Capital Equipment Fund” concludes Andy.

For further information about NHS Supply Chain capital solutions please visit:  


Media enquiries:

Media enquiries:

Jayesha Mistry
07738 071826

Tom Stone
07730 202 668

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