NHS trust re-invests millions from supply chain shake-up

Consolidation of orthopaedic trauma products leads to widespread savings

A hospital trust’s savings on orthopaedic trauma products through NHS Supply Chain has allowed it to reinvest in frontline staff, education, and patient care.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust went from two major suppliers to one and is on target to save £850,000 in the first year, with a further £2.8m savings predicted over the next four years.

The trust spent £1.6m on orthopaedic trauma products in 2019 and wanted to find out if it was possible to drive benefits by moving to different suppliers, or by rationalising its supply base through a procurement process.

And the trust agreed that a proportion of any savings would be invested back into the orthopaedic trauma department.

Staff at the trust set up a meeting with NHS Supply Chain, which reviewed the total usage data.

They then converted this into set procedures, calculated the cost of the different supplier options, and presented these back to the trust.

The different suppliers were then invited to visit the department so clinicians could trial their products.

As a result of the savings, the orthopaedic trauma department now has two new nurse practitioners and an educational package costing £340,000.

This will support its educational activities over the next four years.

And the trust will reinvest another future £2.3m of savings in frontline patient care.

Dan Deakin, head of service for trauma and orthopaedics at the trust’s Queen’s Medical Centre, said: “As an organisation we were oblivious to this opportunity until using NHS Supply Chain.”

The standardised process under the NHS Supply Chain Total Orthopaedic Solutions Framework Agreement was managed and run by regional clinical engagement and implementation manager, Tanya Smith, and supported by the regional category manager, Tristan Langford.

Both worked closely with key clinical and non-clinical stakeholders across the trust.

Smith said: “We can facilitate supplier discussions, outline the products available, and provide dedicated support throughout.”

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