Newcastle Hospitals’ procurement team win prestigious awards

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Newcastle Hospitals’ procurement team win prestigious awards

Friday 4 May 2018

It’s been a great year for the procurement and supplies team at Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The clinical engagement work they have undertaken with NHS Supply Chain has achieved wide-scale recognition at award ceremonies around the country.

Working closely with Emma Nuttall, Clinical Nurse Advisor (CNA) at NHS Supply Chain, Newcastle Hospitals’ procurement team won awards for work they undertook setting up a Clinical Procurement Evaluation Group (CPEG) and changes made to the way Haemostats were purchased within the trust.

Clinical Procurement Evaluation Group

  • GO Customer Engagement Award
  • Shortlisted for 2018 HSJ Values Award (awards 7 June)

For the past 18 months Newcastle Hospitals has had a Clinical Procurement Evaluation Group (CPEG) chaired by Chris Eddy, deputy director of nursing and patient services. The group meets monthly and CNA Emma Nuttall talks through numerous items identified through regular ordering, to discuss the pros and cons of changing to alternative, lower-cost options. The CPEG has achieved considerable savings for the trust, and as it makes up a large part of their work plan, the trust was able to meet their partnership savings target.

The group has a good mix of participants, from health care assistants to matrons and sisters, and has become a forum to listen to feedback and to work in partnership. “When the CPEG first started the meetings were quite formal and quiet, but they’ve evolved to be an informal place where clinicians are happy to share ideas knowing they can drive change,” says Emma Nuttall. “It’s grown the confidence that clinicians have with the procurement process, that it’s not just about price, it’s all about quality, safety and best practice.”

Jolene Grainger, procurement specialist at the trust, has worked closely with Emma and was instrumental in setting up the CPEG. “By liaising closely with clinical colleagues, the procurement team has been able to identify and act upon opportunities to improve patient care and achieve cost savings,” she said. “We want clinicians to be part of this, it’s important we work together. It’s about product changes where we can make savings, but it’s not just about savings: we still have to have a product that is fit for purpose.”


  • Hospital Procurement Award at the 2017 Health Business Awards
  • Public Finance Innovation Awards – Samantha Rix

Newcastle Hospitals’ procurement team was recognised for its work changing the trust’s supplier of specialist blood clotting products known as haemostats. Haemostats are used in most surgical areas but there are different forms and methods in use.

As the national lead for haemostats the trust worked closely with NHS Supply Chain to review the cost and quality of those it buys. The project was clinically led to ensure that any change in product would not compromise patient safety.

Overseen by trust procurement specialist Samantha Rix and CNA Emma Nuttall, the project achieved an average price saving of 65% while ensuring high quality patient care was maintained.
“The project has been highly successful in achieving the trust objectives to look at haemostats and make clinical changes which would maintain safety and quality, but would also bring about savings overall,” said Samantha Rix.

Helen Lisle, director of procurement and supplies said: “I’m delighted to see that the great work going on in our trust has been acknowledged on a national level. This clinically led project has disrupted the market and in turn has brought one of the largest suppliers of the healthcare market to the table to review its pricing strategy.”

“The success of this project has been used as a national case study and by sharing excellent practice with colleagues has resulted in savings in other trusts across the country.”

Newcastle Hospitals’ procurement and supplies team

Click Here to read an interview with Emma Nuttall in the National Health Executive ‘Bridging the gap between procurement and clinicans’