Surgeons operating on patient

Yorkshire NHS partnership leads to five-figure procurement savings

A Yorkshire-based collaborative partnership has helped the NHS save tens of thousands of pounds in procurement costs whilst also not watering down the overall care-quality.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s partnership with NHS Supply Chain came about after the trust’s spinal implants procurement contract ended in 2018 – Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation joined two years later.

With one of the previous suppliers discontinuing many of its products, the partnership wanted to evaluate new suppliers and ensure patients didn’t suffer as a result of the shift in procurement practices.

To accomplish this, the trusts established a joint project team comprising of procurement leads, spinal and neurosurgeons, theatre nurses, decontamination services, and logistics staff. The team then worked with NHS Supply Chain to identify potential suppliers by investigating the efficacy and viability of products from a range of different vendors.

The fruits of that labour have resulted in £80,000 worth of savings through more cost-effective procurement measures, all whilst maintaining the highest standards of care possible.

Michael Athanassacopoulos, Consultant Spinal Surgeon, said: “NHS Supply Chain spent time to understand our data and break it down into procedural costs which made any benchmarking exercise more meaningful at a clinical level.

“They also took time to understand how our service worked and how any procurement exercise could add value or develop our service. Utilising engagement managers from a clinical background was also very helpful as there was a basic shared language that made the project accessible by clinicians not familiar with procurement processes.”

If you want to learn more about best procurement practices, watch some of virtual events on supplier engagement, procurement for ICSs, and procurement for NHS trusts.

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