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Demand Management

We are working closely with NHS England (NHSE) to carefully manage the supply of key consumables. Ensuring that all NHS trusts have equal access to key consumables required to provide patient care remains a top priority.

Demand Management may be utilised when a product is subject to short supply or ‘allocation’, to allow NHS trusts continued access to critical products, until normal supply can be restored.

Demand Management Aim: Control and Protect

The purpose of Demand Management is to maintain continuity of supply of critical products to the NHS where normal supply is disrupted, meaning NHS demand will be greater than the available stock.  Demand Management aims to ensure that stock remains available and is shared fairly, albeit it in reduced quantities, across the NHS during the period of disrupted supply. Two levels of Demand Management can be used to facilitate this; ‘Control’ and ‘Protect’.

See our Downloads section to access the Control and Protect Demand Managed Products Matrix for further information on the affected product codes.

Unavailable Products Process Flows

A set of four process flows have been created to set clear expectations and provide details of what to do when you either cannot order a product (delisted or BAU suspension or Control Demand Managed and unavailable products where alternatives need to be identified), or when you have not received desired quantities (partial order) of a product.

When we follow these process flows, we aim to reduce unnecessary escalations and enhance the first time fix rate, improving efficiency for all NHS partners.

See our Downloads section to access the Unavailable Products Process Flows PDF.

What does Control Demand Management mean?

Control‘ Demand Management allows full control of the allocation of patient-critical products to the NHS where stock/supplies are severely restricted.  Products placed onto Control are typically specialist products with very low stocks and where there are no available alternatives. In such circumstances, products are suspended from normal ordering to protect available stock for critical requirements.

Products subject to Control Demand Management will have this message appear on our online catalogue:
‘Product is suspended due to limited supply requiring demand allocation’.

Currently, there are a number of products in Control Demand Management across a number of categories. Please see our Downloads section to access the ‘Control and Protect Demand Managed Products Matrix’ for further information.

If you have an urgent clinical need for any of the products placed on to Control Demand Management, please contact our Customer Services team and detail your requirement.  Customer Services will then ensure your request is promptly reviewed and responded to.  Please see our – Customer Service Teams – page if you are not sure who to contact.

What does Protect Demand Management mean?

Products placed onto ‘Protect‘ status for Demand Management remain available to order through NHS Supply Chain. However, trusts are allocated a maximum daily quantity also known as ‘threshold’ to ensure fair supply of available stock across the whole of the NHS.

The daily threshold quantity is calculated using an NHSE algorithm. Should a trust exceed its threshold, either via a single requisition point or across multiple requisition points, then relevant orders will be amended down to allow no more than that day’s threshold level.

The thresholds are subject to change as they are updated daily depending on the current demand and supply position so quantities provided to each trust will change in line with this.

The day before delivery date, you will be informed of all orders amended due to Demand Management being applied.

Where the amount of product you are receiving is insufficient to meet patient care, please contact our Customer Services team, who can submit an escalation on your behalf for review.  The escalation will be reviewed and a decision advised on whether to increase the threshold and / or send a one-off additional delivery where appropriate.

Currently, there are a number of products in Protect Demand Management across a number of categories. See our Downloads section to access the Control and Protect Demand Managed Products Matrix for further information.

To support any measures that you may have put in place for each demand intervention, we will also update a list of products that have been removed from Protect threshold intervention – see ‘NPCs Removed From Protect Product Listing’.

Guidance for Requesting Products on Control Allocation

  • Quantity requested – quantities should only be requested if there is an urgent clinical need. The quantity should reflect the need for one week.
  • Clinical rationale for quantity requested – please define the specific urgent clinical need based on the current patient profile. For example, ”We have x number of patients on ventilation who are now on day y, so will require a tracheostomy in the next z day”. The rationale should provide as much information as possible about the requirement to meet patient need and when it will be needed. Statements such as ‘Urgent need’ or ‘Needed for ICU patients’ do not provide sufficient clinical rationale to support the allocation of consumables.
  • First and second alternatives – wherever possible please identify alternatives, as this increases the likelihood of meeting the requested quantities.
  • Requisition point – submit your request through one requisition point. This enables requests to be considered in aggregate.

What happens after you speak with Customer Services

We review your request and will then confirm back to you:

  • Which orders have been denied.
  • Which orders will be raised and to what volume they will be raised (as the requested amount may be amended down).
  • Provide the rationale where requests cannot be fulfilled.

Our Customer Services team will then:

  • Raise the order.
  • Notify you of the delivery date.
  • Inform the relevant ICS Manager (previously, this role was called ‘Customer Relationship Manager’).
  • The cycle will be day one ordering for day three delivery, however, this is dependent on supply route and lead time of the product.

Downloads ▼

  • Control and Protect Demand Managed Products Matrix

    An Excel file detailing the products currently subject to Control and Protect Demand Management. Updated weekly. Last updated 12 June 2024.
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  • NPCs Removed From Protect Product Listing

    An Excel file detailing the NPCs that have been removed from Protect Demand Management. Updated weekly. Last updated 12 June 2024.
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  • ICN Weekly Dashboard

    An Excel file detailing ICNs containing suspended products and the suspended product codes on each ICN. Updated weekly. Last updated 12 June 2024.
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  • Unavailable Products Process Flows

    A PDF file detailing what to do when products are unavailable (delisted, BAU suspended, Control Demand Managed or partial order).