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NHS Supply Chain agree national commitment deal to deliver vital cancer treatment systems to NHS trusts

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Over£10 million of additional savings secured for the NHS

NHS Supply Chain has secured the largest commitment deal to date through the Department of Health’s £300 million Capital Equipment Fund.

Created in March 2012, the Capital Equipment Fund was set up to allow the NHS to buy capital equipment in bulk and make the best possible use of its buying power,. The Fund is managed on a day-to-day basis by NHS Supply Chain, with the Department of Health and the NHS Business Services Authority contributing to the strict governance and oversight process.

Following two initial successful deals with Varian Medical Systems UK Limited, as previously announced by former Health Minister Earl Howe in 2013, over £10 million in additional savings has been secured for the NHS.

The latest deal is for 30 TrueBeam Linear Accelerators. The deal includes 10 of Varian’s six degrees of freedom couches as well as 50 Eclipse licences. These radiotherapy treatment systems play a vital role in the delivery of world class cancer treatment. The deal with Varian has created a further 14% of savings for the NHS.

Paul Clarke, Head of the NHS Business Service Authority’s Supplier Management function, says: “We have received positive feedback from those organisations that have been involved so far and are really pleased that the option for the NHS to procure capital equipment in this way is available to Trusts, obtaining modern, high performing equipment whilst achieving substantial cost savings.”

Along with ensuring the NHS is maximising its buying power, in this latest deal the team have committed to a high level technical specification including advanced image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) to ensure the NHS can align to the recommendations in the recently published report from the Independent Cancer Taskforce, ‘Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A strategy for England 2015-2020’.

In line with the clinical specification for the Linear Accelerator, the team have secured savings on the range of six degrees of freedom couches and associated IT and treatment planning licences, all key elements to delivering advanced radiotherapy.

Andy Brown of NHS Supply Chain says:” The NHS faces an increasingly acute problem of an ageing asset base. At a time of constricting budgets it is crucial to fully maximise the buying power of the NHS. By securing over 14% greater savings for the NHS than previously achievable, the NHS has moved a step closer to reducing one of the key blocks to replacing vital equipment.”

“This deal represents in one order more systems than are currently replaced in one year, despite a huge backlog of ageing equipment requiring replacement. This commitment gives stability to the supply chain which enables the supplier to pass on greater savings to the NHS.”

“The commitment by NHS Supply Chain to order a further 20 TrueBeam systems demonstrates great confidence in this advanced radiotherapy and radiosurgery system, as well as a close alignment between Varian and the UK government’s stated goal of saving many more lives each year,” says Adele Lyons, Varian’s regional sales director.


Media enquiries:
Mark Fox
07710 966 450

Jayesha Mistry
07738 071826

Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain
All information in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL and managed by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). 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). The initial contract which was due to expire in October 2016 has been extended for a further two years until October 2018.

NHS Supply Chain is working closely with the NHSBSA, to build on the savings already achieved to deliver £300m of the opportunities for procurement efficiency savings as highlighted in Lord Carter’s interim report: Review of operational efficiency in NHS providers.

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 316,000 nationally available, transactable lines ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and surgical equipment. In addition, it can help you plan your investment in medical capital equipment such as MRI scanners, linear accelerators and patient monitors.

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.

Delivering value to the NHS