How innovation in procurement can help the NHS achieve savings

innovation in procurement


Innovation in procurement was a major talking point at this year’s P4H England event; indeed, there was a whole training zone dedicated to it.

As we like to stay up to date with all of the latest trends surrounding innovation in procurement, we attended Dr Harriet Boulding’s session “Procurement in practice: Requisitioner perspectives on buying in the NHS”.


Innovation & Efficiency

The Innovation & Efficiency Training Zone at P4H was designed to give delegates an opportunity to learn more about the technologies and proven approaches that can maximise the economic benefits of procurement reform.

ICT and eProcurement has improved supplier transparency and cost savings for the NHS in recent years; however, a new review of operational productivity by Lord Carter has calculated that up to £1bn of the NHS’s £9bn procurement spend could be saved by adopting best practices and modern systems.


NHS Trusts to upgrade procurement software

Dr Boulding, from King’s College London, spoke in depth about improving efficiency within NHS procurement during her session at the Innovation & Efficiency Zone. She noted that NHS Trust are working hard to find innovative solutions, and are:

“…currently looking at upgrading procurement software that processes up to £100m of day-to-day ordering across acute and community settings.”

Outdated procurement software can lead to a chain reaction of poor management. Lord Carter’s review found that some Trusts use up to 30,000 different suppliers and 20,000 different product brands and have over 7000 people who are able to place orders – which makes the procurement process extremely complicated for all involved.


Innovation and the public sector

Poor procurement software and poor IT skills were identified as two of the most common barriers to efficient procurement in a recent study by King’s College London.

Although this is a major challenge for those working in healthcare and the wider public sector, it can also be seen as a major opportunity for public sector suppliers that offer innovative solutions.

The Government has invested heavily in innovative solutions since 2012, spending £3.2bn on digital, data and technology through Digital Marketplace frameworks such as G-Cloud, Digital Outcomes and Specialists, and the Crown Hosting Data Centres.

Find out more about winning public sector tenders here.


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