Procurement success working in partnership with clinical teams

The procurement team’s work in partnership with the endoscopy service has been proving beneficial.

The procurement team works across Tayside to ensure that NHS Tayside purchases quality products that are fit for purpose at the best price possible. Part of their work also involves working with clinical staff on projects small and large to reduce costs.

Wendy Dowdles, senior charge nurse in endoscopy is also a member of the Better Buying and Procurement Workstream huddle which meets once a month. The huddle team helps to identify current issues, review potential opportunities and agree and plan potential product evaluations.

Part of Wendy’s role is overseeing procurement-related matters for the three endoscopy sites at Ninewells, PRI and Stracathro, ensuring a single point of contact between procurement and endoscopy. Wendy also provides a positive platform for standardisation of product selection and inventory management across the service and has undertaken a lot of work evaluating, sorting and standardising stock which led to the following case study successes.

Polyp traps

Wendy noted that different polyp traps were being used in each of the endoscopy units and evaluation showed that one of the products was of superior quality and safer, but also more expensive.  The procurement team reviewed the national contract and looked at what other units in Scotland were buying and undertook a cost analysis. It was evident if NHS Tayside moved to the quality product there would be a cost implication.

After negotiation with the supplier led by NHS Tayside’s procurement lead, the supplier agreed to reduce the price applicable under the National Framework via the NDC, a change which was supported and implemented through further engagement with the National Framework owner.

This change has resulted in the standardisation of products used in clinical practice, ensured quality, maintained safety and reduced financial cost. This will result in a 5% saving across NHS Scotland for those Boards using the same product.

Decontamination Tray Liners

Wendy was approached by a supplier offering alternative endoscope decontamination tray liners and asked the procurement team to advise on the potential benefits from converting.

Although the product was potentially acceptable, a legal barrier to any potential change was identified by procurement. To resolve this, procurement entered into a four way dialogue between the supplier, National Procurement and NDC to secure an immediate quick win saving from reducing National Framework price. This process of negotiation is ongoing with a potential saving across NHS Scotland of over £46k per annum with a share for Tayside of over £4k. An interim solution in terms of provision of equivalent value in free stock is close to realisation.

Colonoscopy Markers

NHS Tayside was approached by a potential alternative supplier for colonoscopy markers and procurement worked with the supplier and National Procurement to negotiate a reduced price for the current product of 10.8%, securing a saving across NHS Scotland of £8k.

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