The Health Services Procurement – inefficient and risky… Centralisation and management control is needed

Wales, Scotland, and N. Ireland could save a great deal if their procurement was aligned with England’s. But that means reverting to a “National” Health service.. There are rumours of gross overcharging for public services, Health and Defence being examples. In New Zealand central control (especially of drugs) has prevented waste and controlled spending, but only through overt and explicit rationing. Of course they don’t have “Big Pharma” home industries to content with…

Andrew Allen has posted in Procurement, Public sector “Supply management” 8th August 2016: New NHS procurement structures may be ‘disastrous’ 

Planned changes to NHS procurement are confusing, are being made without consulting health service buyers and are likely to jeopardise current arrangements that are working well.

This is the view of the Health Care Supplies Association (HCSA), which represents procurement and supply professionals within the NHS.

The organisation has strongly criticised the Department of Health, complaining about a series of ‘top-down’ procurement models emanating from Whitehall over the last 25 years and a ‘vacuum’ in NHS procurement leadership.

HCSA believes the new centrally driven Future Operating Model (FOM) for procurement across the NHS planned to replace collaborative procurement, will have potentially disastrous results.

The current proposed design of the FOM “… is not widely understood by the NHS procurement community and certainly not in sufficient depth”, said the HCSA in a statement released on 3 August.

Part of the proposed FOM is a new ‘tower structure’, which is hard to understand, it claims. The structure will consist of 11 category towers and a new Intelligent Client Coordinator unit formed of more than 200 people.

HCSA is also critical of the lack of involvement from procurement people in the wider system. “HCSA must be engaged in the design of the operating model, and given access to key information, including the strategic options analysis and the short listing process which has led to the current, proposed model,” it said.

The association believes current commercial procurement arrangements with the outsourced service NHS Supply Chain are working well and should be extended.

According to HCSA, some NHS Trusts have achieved price reductions of between 24-63% across a range of healthcare consumables, using a collaborative approach.

“There is an immediate need to urgently evaluate the benefits of a further extension to the NHS Supply Chain contract in order to maintain the momentum of these savings initiatives, at a time when savings are critical to NHS stakeholders,” it said.

Extending the current model would allow the NHS to review its relationship with key supply markets, to rationalise and standardise a national NHS product range, and obtain and maintain true market prices, it added.

The Department of Health has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Meanwhile Sofia Lind in Pulse 10th August reports that:  GPs ‘excluded’ from consultations over secret plans for general practice

New NHS procurement structures may be ‘disastrous’

A pill too hard to swallow: how the NHS is limiting access to high priced drugs

Terrifyingly, according to the World Health Organisation definition the UK no longer has a NHS

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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