March 2021: Key updates from NHS Supply Chain

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Key updates from NHS Supply Chain includes information on our newly created clinical animation on the organisation’s clinical role, our recently published value-based procurement pilot project report and how South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust made a 30 percent saving through the Total Orthopaedic Solutions Framework.

Our clinical role

Clinical expertise runs through the whole of NHS Supply Chain, with clinical colleagues working collaboratively with procurement specialists to help us deliver clinically assured, safe quality products to the NHS.

The CaPA team ensure that the end to end procurement process is widely informed by appropriate stakeholders, who reflect the broad range of knowledge and expertise within our health and social care system. The team are responsible for key areas of expertise including the assurance framework, patient safety and innovation.

In addition, CaPA support the work of many national clinical programmes, which are developing strategies to improve patient care and reduce unwarranted variation across the health and social care system.

We have created a short animation to explain NHS Supply Chain’s clinical role. You can watch the video here.

NHS Supply Chain value based procurement pilot project report

With increasing demand for healthcare set against a backdrop of limited financial resources, there remains ongoing need for procurement to deliver increased year on year savings across the NHS. To address this challenge, NHS Supply Chain initiated a project designed to consider the potential benefits and practical application of Value Based Procurement (VBP).

In total, we had 27 submissions as part of our VBP project. Originally 13 projects were selected to be pilots but due to COVID-19 this was reduced to 10. We took forward 8 pilots which all demonstrated clinical and efficiency benefits. We have consolidated our findings in a project report. Key findings of the report include:

  • Clinical support and engagement are critical to the adoption of VBP
  • A need for common understanding of value between buyers and suppliers
  • Assurance from suppliers to substantiate claims will aid VBP adoption for NHS trusts.

Find out more and read the full report here.

Clinically led changes result in savings of more than £450,000 annually for NHS trust

NHS Supply Chain has worked in partnership with a hospital trust to help them save more than £450,000 annually after a change of supplier for hip and knee products for orthopaedic surgery.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust who merged in 2019 decided to undertake the orthopaedic project together with support from NHS Supply Chain category manager and clinical engagement and implementation manager.

This enabled them to move to one orthopaedic provider for their hips and knees as soon as they had merged to achieve the best value for the products across both sites. Orthopaedic clinicians led the decision on the new hip and knee providers.

As a result, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust saved £458,060 against a previous annual spend of £1,509,396 – a saving of 30 percent. They achieved the savings by going from seven different suppliers to one and rationalising the product range for surgeons.

NHS Supply Chain was able to deliver products, expertise and pricing available under the Total Orthopaedic Solutions Framework. The standardised compliant process was managed from beginning to end by NHS Supply Chain on behalf of the trust, including providing product analysis, organising meetings and supplier days, providing contract documentation and ensuring everyone involved was kept up to date with developments.

Find out more here.

Continuous Glucose Monitors available for all pregnant women with Type 1 Diabetes

NHS England have released funding to make Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) available for all pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, a commitment was made to improve neonatal outcomes by offering Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) to all pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes. As of March 2021, funding has been made available for those eligible to access the technology.

CGM, a sensor which is inserted just under the skin and continuously monitors a user’s glucose levels, can minimise the risks associated with pregnancy and Type 1 diabetes, for both mother and baby.

This life saving equipment is available via our Insulin Pumps Framework and, in support of this initiative, CGM suppliers Medtronic, Medtrum and Dexcom, are offering discounted pricing to enable trusts to purchase the monitors and associated consumables, with the funding provided.

Find out more here.

Training NHS chefs for the future

The new NHS Supply Chain Chefs Academy programme invites NHS hospital chefs to free training days with live demonstrations, hands-on cooking, guest speakers and the opportunity to network with peers.

The events are hosted by NHS Supply Chain: food team’s culinary specialists and are designed to inspire innovation and professional development amongst NHS chefs and catering staff. Attendees will learn culinary skills as well as nutritious, tasty and cost-effective new recipe concepts, with the intention of providing greater choice of quality food in NHS hospitals.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the Chefs Academy programme was placed on hold, with only one event able to go ahead late last year. It was decided not to replace the sessions with virtual events as they are designed to involve interactive cooking demonstrations and food-tasting with culinary experts.

Following the recent Government roadmap announcement, new dates have now been confirmed. The full day events are held at catering colleges across the country, so current guidelines have allowed the Chefs Academy training days to begin from 8 March, with social distancing in place.

6 events have successfully taken place so far across London, Manchester and Birmingham and further events are due to take place in July.

Find out more here.