Small changes, big differences How nursing staff add value to the procurement process

Clinical swap shop

Derby NHS Foundation Trust

Stephanie McCarthy, Clinical Procurement Nurse Specialist at Derby NHS Foundation Trust, organised a clinical swap shop, saving her trust thousands of pounds in the process.

When Stephanie came into post she was made aware of large amounts of clinical stock being stored, unused, in the hospital. This was surplus stock, of too little value to return and not stored in any manageable way.

The solution

Working with Pete Charvill, Theatre Procurement Lead, Stephanie set up a clinical product swap shop in an area of the hospital which was accessible to all staff.

Staff were invited to bring any redundant stock from their shelves which may be useful to other clinical departments. Products were donated on the understanding that they would not be re-charged and that many of these products would otherwise have gone out-of-date, been thrown away or donated to charity.

Stephanie developed a catalogue and posted this on her organisation’s intranet. Every item was logged and a cost attached to it.

They had accumulated £24,000 worth of stock. Some of it was re-homed before the day of the launch and out-of-date stock was offered to the education teams. On the day of the swap shop launch more stock arrived and was logged by the team.

The results

At the end of one day Stephanie and her team had re-homed £18,000 of in-date stock which otherwise would have remained unused.

By the end of the whole exercise they had re-used approximately £20,000 of stock, either into clinical areas or education. The remaining stock was then donated to charity.

Savings were made on non-pay spend which helped the trust achieve its cost improvement plan targets. Making savings through the non-pay route means that the pay budget remains protected and jobs are less likely to be lost.

Removing excess and redundant stock means that stock rooms now are tidier and clearer. Stephanie and her team devised a standardisation programme which lessened the risk of staff mistakenly using stock which should no longer be used, increasing patient safety.

The future

Stephanie repeated the exercise on a smaller scale when one of our surgeons put out an appeal for stock to go to Gaza as part of the humanitarian aid effort.

They managed to identify approximately £14,000 of out-of-date or redundant stock to go to the charity. This has now led to the development of an official process for the identification, logging and redistribution of excess stock.

On a bi-monthly basis the ward housekeepers, theatre store staff and clinical educators are invited to view the newly available products, with anything else being donated to charity.

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Page last updated - 02/12/2019