About the Author

Ken Cole
SPS Consultancy

Ken Cole has worked in senior positions in both the public and private sectors and was one of the founding Directors of SPS in 2001. He recently completed a three year secondment as Director of the London Centre of Excellence. Ken has thrilled many public and private audiences with his incisive analysis, robust delivery and his belief in 'telling it as it is'. His blog is a regular commentary of the improvement and efficiency agenda.

Make sure you pay a frequent visit to find out Ken's latest thoughts on the workings of government, the latest policy initiatives and much more...

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NHS Procurement - a warning to local government

Oct 25, 2011

 It even made Radio 4 this morning, the publication of a Public Accounts Committee report on managing high value capital procurement in the NHS in England - http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmpubacc/1469/146902.htm

For those readers who don't want to plough through  the PAC deliberations - the baseline is that when it comes to scanners and other high value equipment, "the procurement and management [of high value equipment] is fragmented and uncoordinated, leading to wasted resources and variable standards of service". Now where have I heard this before??

The interesting thing about the PAC report is that it is not just a cost issue, but also one which creates variations in patient service and the quality of care.

In the summary we read - Trusts have three main ways to purchase high value equipment; by dealing directly with suppliers; through framework agreements, managed by NHS Supply Chain; or by joining up with other trusts in collaborative purchasing agreements. We were told that framework agreements are generally a more efficient way to purchase one-off equipment orders yet one in five of these machines are bought boutside framework agreements and the Department has no power to mandate trusts to use them".

Substitute the word Council for Trust and you get the picture? There is yet another warning to English local government here - start taking an interest in commissioning and procurement before someone else in Whitehall beats you to it!!!




Start taking an interest in commissioning and procurement

Thanks for the article Ken. I follow your blog for improvement and efficiency agenda updates like this.
David Pidsley
26/10/2011 00:00

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