NHS procurement chiefs drafted in to help ailing national PPE effort

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  • Trust teams will focus on individual categories of PPE
  • Trusts have been told not to bulk buy their own protective kit
  • Comes as questions raised over consultancy firm’s role in sourcing PPE

The government has brought in 14 trust procurement chiefs to support national efforts to source personal protective equipment, HSJ can reveal.

The heads of procurement at 14 trusts and their teams have been asked to help purchase PPE domestically and internationally on behalf of the UK, as part of the cross-government operation. Each have been given a specific types of equipment to buy.

The move comes only days after trusts were told to leave placing large orders for PPE to the centre.

Senior procurement sources suggested the move was a sign of an “obviously struggling” central operation. The government and central procurement body NHS Supply Chain have faced weeks of criticism over PPE shortages.

Several providers, including Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital, and Royal Free London foundation trusts, have shared large PPE orders nationally in recent weeks.

PPE senior responsible officers Jonathan Marron and Emily Lawson, at the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England respectively, recently told trusts they were in the process of appointing some procurement directors to a national team. The 1 May letter also banned trust from bulk-buying their own PPE.

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Source: HSJ
Date: 15 May 2020