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Driving sustainable national savings for the NHS

Wednesday 17 September 2014

NHS Supply Chain has lowered its national prices by over £11.9 million across eight key product areas between February and August 2014 *

NHS Supply Chain is continuing to work closely with its suppliers to drive even further efficiencies in eight key areas, in order to reduce the price of products and help deliver savings to the NHS, in support of the Department of Health’s (DH) savings target of £150 million. Between February and August 2014, NHS Supply Chain has delivered in excess of £11.9 million in price savings for the following goods alone:

Polymer £5.76m*
Exam gloves £2.58m*
Hearing Aids £1.84m*
Paper Hygiene £902k*
Sterile Surgical Gloves £421k*
Respiratory Therapy £180k*
General Wound Care 158k*
Audiological Implants £77k*

Lee McCoy, Purchasing Product Manager at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University NHS Trust, says; “NHS Supply Chain’s on-going commitment to mitigate price increases and deliver cash releasing savings, through joint cost reduction initiatives with suppliers and without the need for us to invest our time or resource, has already saved us over £40,000 annually across six key category areas including polymer and hearing aid products.”

NHS Supply Chain’s polymer product range currently provides the biggest savings opportunities, where price reductions could see a potential national annualised saving of £5.76 million, which could equate to approximately 232 Band 5 nurses. **

Polymer products play an essential role in the health and safety of both patients and staff; used every day, by virtually every member of clinical staff across every trust , they deliver a potential average saving of up to 24%*, while the associated savings are also substantial. The three main polymer product savings areas are: plastic aprons, of which NHS Supply Chain sells 110 million a year; clinical waste sacks and household waste sacks. With a new range of domestic and clear waste sacks, patient property bags and an improved 42 inch white nurse’s apron soon to be offered, NHS Supply Chain will continue to drive even more sustainable polymer savings across the NHS.

By driving down pricing in a sustainable way, trusts can be sure that they are getting the very best price across a vast range of products now and in the future; with the potential for the savings to be reinvested into frontline NHS services.

Rachel Repper, Trading Director at NHS Supply Chain, says: “Following initial price reductions in key areas earlier this year, we have been able to secure further great pricing savings for the NHS with longevity by working closely with our suppliers. These savings have been achieved by utilising NHS Supply Chain’s volume demand, logistics scale and procurement expertise to secure a pricing structure that is consistent and will help our customers to get the most value for money.”

“NHS Trusts have the potential to save even more by working with us on procurement, ordering and supply chain strategies. Our Account Management team can ensure that trusts understand the many different ways to save when purchasing through our route,” concludes Rachel.

For further information and to understand how your trust can get the full savings benefits, please contact your dedicated NHS Supply Chain account manager or visit:

* £11.9 million of price reductions were achieved between February and August 2014 and are available across selected lines and selected suppliers. All savings stated are potentials and are calculated based on reductions on banded prices, multiplied by the quantities purchased by trusts six months prior. For the full break-down, and how this affects your trust, speak to your NHS Supply Chain Account Manager.
**Source: Calculation based upon number of nurses (paid on average a band 5 annual salary), to which the annualised potential savings figure could equate. Salary source:
Agenda for change - pay rates, Pay rates from 1 April 2014, Band 5 point 20.


Media enquiries:

Jayesha Mistry
07738 071 826

Jennie Brice
07714 043 391  

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 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