In England alone, the NHS spends over £4.5 billion a year on clinical supplies and services.
Nursing staff on the frontline of patient care can highlight important aspects of product suitability including usability, safety, quality and patient comfort. They have a huge role to play in saying what is needed to deliver safe care and identifying where improvements can be made in the procurement process.
But too often, nursing staff are not involved at an early stage when important decisions are made.
Small changes, big differences aims to promote the unique contribution that nursing staff can make to procurement by sharing case studies, providing Directors of Nursing with practical ways to save money to avoid the loss of nursing posts, and being a leading voice in the debate around clinical engagement – putting staff, including nurses, at the heart of the decision making process when purchasing goods in the NHS.
Our greatest achievement to date has been our partnership with the NHS Clinical Reference Board, which is chaired by RCN member Mandie Sunderland, who is Chief Nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and has led to the creation of a national approach to the clinical evaluation of everyday consumables which are used in the delivery of care.