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NHS Supply Chain’s compare and save opportunities programme has saved the NHS £1.6 million1 so far. The potential savings are up to £54 million2 - this could equate to over 1800 nurses3

Wednesday 20 August 2014

NHS Supply Chain is committed to help the NHS drive procurement efficiencies and is working closely with suppliers and customers to deliver £150 million in cash releasing savings by March 31 2016.

To meet that challenge, set by the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office, we are working with our suppliers on joint cost reduction initiatives. The newly launched comparative savings opportunities programme is just one of the ways we are helping deliver these savings.

The programme is designed to offer comparative savings opportunities for Trusts purchasing through NHS Supply Chain Framework agreements. It has full backing from the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office and supports the current NHS landscape where trusts have significant savings to achieve.

Compare and Save - with over 100 product areas in scope for the programme, the total potential savings could reach £54 million4 across the fifteen product areas launched so far and equate to over 1,800 nurses5

Tissue Adhesives, Exam Gloves, Disposable Incontinence and Intravenous Cannulae were the first products to be part of the compare and save programme launched back in April - with a further 11 product areas launched in July; enabling Trusts to already compare savings on a wide number of products whilst continuing to deliver quality patient care.

Exam gloves are an essential item for any trust and make up a large part of procurement budgets. In 2011, Barts Health NHS Trust reported spending £700,000 on exam gloves and saving £300,000 by comparing costs . On exam gloves alone, the savings opportunities programme could help deliver a national saving of £6.9 million, which could equate to 230 nurses.

Mandie Sunderland, Chief Nurse The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust says, “As nurses we use millions of pounds worth of clinical products, we need to lead on the value initiatives to help support the front line.”

Further information

For more on how our comparative savings opportunities programme can help you spend less, but deliver more, visit ; or speak to your dedicated Account Manager .

  1. These savings have been calculated based on the Year on Year cash releasing savings, Base price minus price paid multiplied by the quantity purchased. Savings have been calculated based on the purchase history of customers, where the sales have stopped on one (or more) products and then started on the identified alternative product.
  2. Potential savings have been calculated based on the band 1 price of the primary product (i.e. the products currently used by Trusts) minus the band 1 price of the alternative product multiplied by the last 12 months actual quantity purchased. Prices and quantities are correct at the time of printing. Alternatives have been highlighted by NHS Supply Chain Framework Agreement suppliers which highlight contract price differentials. Alternatives are of similar products and Trusts will need to carry out their own review in order to see if they are suitable for their own requirements. Savings opportunities may be impacted by local pricing. Potential savings opportunities are based on the lowest available band 1 priced alternative across the framework agreement’.
  3. Source: Band 6 nurse average salary, Payrates, 2013/14.
  4. See 2.
  5. See 3.


Media enquiries:

Jennie Brice
07714 043 391

Jayesha Mistry
07738 071 826

Joanna Morrison
07776 457 201

Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

Follow us on Twitter: @NHSSupplyChain

All information in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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 346,000 nationally available, transactable lines 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.

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 over 2,400 staff across seven sites.  

Delivering value to the NHS