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Clinical Stocks management utilising NHS Supply Chain systems

Stephanie McCarthy, Procurement Specialist Nurse, Clinical Procurement, Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Stephanie's case study was completed in December 2015 and reflects 2015 prices

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has over 1,100 beds and cares for more than one million people every year. With such a high volume of patients, there is a need for staff to work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Stephanie McCarthy, Clinical Procurement Specialist Nurse, proposed a change to the way the Trust manages the purchasing of ward consumables, which is serviced by a third-party provider called ISS World.

Stephanie focused on 49 clinical areas across the Trust, which each purchased consumables from NHS Supply Chain (NHSSC) in a different way, leading to wastage of products and staff time.

The Trust adopted NHSSC's 'top-up' system which works to an agreed stock level that cannot be manually overridden.

By performing an economic assessment of a pilot for the new system, Stephanie found that relationships between clinical areas and the top-up service provider improved and staff had greater confidence in the system. Her findings firmly reinforced the value of nursing expertise in the procurement process, in particular how experienced senior nurses can support colleagues through change.

By closely examining three case study wards Stephanie identified that the average saving per bed day across the three wards was £0.87. Multiplying this figure by the total number of occupied bed days within the Trust from January - December 2015 indicated potential annual savings from the project of £275K.

Stephanie is now planning to implement the NHSSC top-up system on other sites across the Trust.

You can contact Stephanie by email

Case study
One page summary