DOCTORS in South Yorkshire have saved up to £2m now being reinvested back into local NHS services after switching some types of surgical gloves, haemostat products and anti-embolism stockings, previously being sold to the NHS at a range of prices.
The clinician-led scheme in South Yorkshire saw staff and patients work closely across seven hospitals to agree on the best product and commit to bulk buy jointly to save money.
The different hospitals had been using a variety of products and paying a variety of prices for the same products which all did the same job.
Evaluation of the products takes place to ensure there is no difference in the standard of care for patients as a result of a switch to the most cost effective product and robust opportunities for staff to make any concerns heard are in place.
By committing to buy a larger quantity of product thanks to the collaboration, 11 products were changed leading to savings of £2m, including a saving of £400k alone by switching to one type of examination glove.
Professor Des Breen, clinical lead for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, said: “It was just a no-brainer to keep using products we knew were the same quality as others we could buy for less purely because each department procures them individually.
“We knew we had to take advantage of buying for all the hospitals at the same time; it was a lot of work but well worth it when we think of all the extra services we can use that money to provide for patients.”
A scoring system was used on all of the products to make sure that they met the high standard needed for use by the NHS and the product which met all of these and was deemed the best value for money was chosen.
Further opportunities to use the process to make savings on other products are being scoped out and other areas across the country are considering using South Yorkshire’s approach.
Michael MacDonnell, director of system transformation at NHS England, said: “Times are financially hard in the NHS but this work really shows that where there’s a will there’s a way. A clinically-led scheme means our clinicians are coming up with these ideas and helping to save for our NHS from the inside out.
“There are many savings out there just waiting to be discovered and reinvested which have absolutely no effect on patient care and £2m can make a huge difference to other patients when it is reinvested locally like this money will be.”