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NW Procurement Development

Supplier and Buyer Event

NHS North West Procurement Developments (NWPD) “Buyers and Suppliers - Better Together” event was held on the 23rd October 2015 following the highly successful NHS in the North West Excellence in Supply Awards. Both events were targeted at maximising the opportunities that exist in having traditional adversaries working towards a common goal of improving patient care and maximising the Health Services scarce resources.



A 70+ strong audience heard from a wide ranging panel of presenters about the challenges ahead, the initiatives and opportunities being pursued nationally and regionally.

Sandra Barrow and Steve Ellesmere from the Department of Health spoke of the ‘Centres’ focus on productivity and effeciency driven by Lord Carter of Coles, the Governments appointed Procurement Champion.

NWPD and the University of Liverpool shared an overview of the findings from their research study entitled “Value based Procurement in the NHS North West”, which is centred around the development of a holistic procurement approach, improving relationship and reducing total patient pathway costs.

Lorna Green, Commercial Director from the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network spoke passionately about the need for procurement to embrace innovation as a means of providing improved services for patients.

Annie Edwards, Regional Manager from Ethicon shared her company’s experiences in working with NWPD, Wirral Acute and Wirral Community Trusts exploring the potential for developing solutions that offer overall pathway efficencies.

Our final speaker Nicola Robinson knowledge manager from CIPS extolled the benefits in theory and practice of supplier relationship management.

The final session of the day gave buyers and suppliers the opportunity  to discuss and recommend actions that could be implemented to practically enhance the relationships of working together:

Short term – next 6 months Medium term – 6 to 12 months Long term – 12 months+
  • Understanding pressures
  • Transparency on costs
  • Encourage 2 way communication and collaboration
  • Understand specification
  • Uniformity around internal procurement procedures
  • Speak to suppliers re specific requirements
  • Newsletters explaining projects with results
  • Assist suppliers with procurement process speak to suppliers about specific requirements
  • Behaviours and processes –what’s expected on both sides
  • Share and develop best practice
  • Opportunities for innovation
  • Education
  • Listing new products
  • Encourage pre market engagement streamline processes
  • Work with suppliers to understand business/speciality
  • Develop whole NHS approach  i.e. all Trusts have same process
  • Website to post ideas for savings.
  • Change financial view-i.e. cash savings
  • Offer assistance,  less transactional relationships
  • Review/evaluate feedback i.e. surveys
  • Longer contracts
  • Consignment stock/inventory
  • Value based targets for procurement rather than just savings
  • Manage SLA’s of contracts

To develop the feedack into tanglible plans NWPD will be establishing a Buyer & Supplier group early in the New Year.