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23.07.12

Essex trust to save £500,000 on orthopaedics procurement

Clinical engagement with non-clinical teams has led to significant savings in orthopaedics procurement at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust.

A cross-functional commercial and clinical team has been formed to report directly to the clinical director, chief financial officer and chief operating officer. The first three months work to reduce procurement costs have saved over £300,000 just on hip products.

Final savings across all categories, including upper and lower limb, trauma and pulse lavage, are forecast to be up to £500,000, representing a 28% saving. The project is part of a wider programme of procurement cost reduction at the trust.

The trust undertakes 800 procedures a year, split between hips and knees, spending around £2.9m. Cost modelling for the new teams work was provided by the procurement consultancy Inverto.

The trust’s chief financial officer, Nick Gerrard, said their procurement savings plans “real impetus” and welcomed the “substantial cost savings in a short space of time”.

Bill Martin, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the trust and lead clinician on the Mid Essex Orthopaedic Procurement Project says: “The initial worry that financial pressures would lead us towards accepting substandard implants or major inventory changes has not been borne out, and it was reassuring to be involved in the process as a surgeon.”

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