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‘Procurement league table’ to be launched for NHS hospitals

Hospitals across the country will be ranked based on the amount they spend on goods and services in a new initiative announced by the DH.

The ‘procurement league table’, announced by Jeremy Hunt at this week’s NHS Providers conference, is aimed at reducing the amount hospitals spend and driving forward with efficiency savings.

Improvements in the way NHS hospitals have procured goods has made for a large proportion of savings in institutions across the country and the new plans are a way to compare services as they seek greater efficiencies.

The DH said that, compared to their neighbours, some trusts paid more than double the price for everyday items such as surgical scalpels.

Hunt told the conference in Birmingham: “The NHS is rightly recognised as one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world and I am immensely grateful for your efforts to clamp-down on unnecessary waste.

“But, we must not be complacent when there is still baffling variation in the prices that hospitals are paying for supplies.

“We want to support the NHS to save money wherever possible so it can be reinvested into frontline services.”

The current iteration of the league table shows that the bottom five trusts could save over £11m if they bought supplies at the same prices as others.

It is thought that increased transparency about what other hospitals pay for items will help high paying trusts bring their own bills down.

Ranking services based on procurement has been part of DH plans since 2014. However, the new table will provide a direct comparison between each trust to show exactly how services are performing for every item.

Top image: Joe Giddens PA Wire

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