NHS Supply Chain: COVID-19

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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak NHS Supply Chain has been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England to supply and deliver products into the NHS. It is part of the cross-government approach to managing the pandemic.

Now with the easing of lockdown and the NHS starting to stand up elective services, our focus is now on supporting our customers to ensure that they have sufficient supplies of other critical medical devices and clinical consumable products (not PPE).  We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure that our supply chain is as resilient as it can be given the current global market conditions.

The PPE dedicated supply channel set up by the government in parallel to the usual NHS Supply Chain service will continue to receive and distribute PPE to NHS trusts and community health partners such as GPs and social care organisations.

A couple of updates to share include:

  • Corporate Strategy Refresh

We are in the process of refreshing our corporate strategy following the outbreak of Covid-19.  The pandemic has significantly altered the environment in which we operate and we have had to adapt accordingly. As part of the strategy refresh, we have been listening and taking on customer and stakeholder feedback through holding virtual regional and national customer boards as well as engaging with our customers in other online forums.  We are aiming to finalise the strategy and share it with the customer boards and the HCSA in due course.

  • New Bury St Edmunds Regional Distribution Centre

Since the successful ‘Go Live’ in May, our teams at the new NHS Supply Chain regional distribution centre at Suffolk Park, Bury St Edmunds, have been working closely with customers to ensure that there is a smooth transition to the new site.

Operated by NHS Supply Chain’s logistics provider, Unipart Logistics, the site has been designed to provide additional capacity for future growth.  Spanning 147,000 square feet of space, twice that of the existing Bury St Edmunds site, the Suffolk Park RDC represents a significant investment in NHS Supply Chain and the opening of the site is a key part of the long-term growth strategy.

The Suffolk Park RDC has been designed to meet the future needs of the NHS Supply Chain network and our customers, with capacity to accommodate a broader range of products, leading to efficiencies elsewhere in the network.