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

Examination gloves

Working Together Programme

The Working Together Programme is a partnership between seven acute trusts in South Yorkshire, Mid Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. The trusts work together to ensure consistency of supplies for clinical and nursing staff.

Examination gloves, which accounted for £2.1 million of overall budget, was selected as the first product to focus on by the Working Together Programme’s product consolidation initiative.

The process

The next step was getting all seven trusts to agree on a range of gloves, and to work with NHS Supply Chain to secure a minimum of five per cent savings on glove spend.

Medical directors from the seven trusts soon agreed the product specification. Eight shortlisted suppliers then bid for 12 months of volume.

The chosen gloves were then tested and introduced to the trusts over a five-week period, making sure each trust had sufficient stock. Getting all nursing teams on board was essential to avoid unnecessary additional consultation.

Supporting staff

Michaela Fairest, Clinical Procurement Specialist from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust explained how the Working Together Programme supported staff and patients:

Michaela said: “It was vital for nurses and clinical staff to understand why the procurement decision had been made.

“The reasons for the change - improved staffing, patient safety, efficiencies and savings - were clearly and widely communicated.

“I was also able to give staff the peace of mind around potential risk factors, such as known irritants, like the type and level of powder used – which met the national standards required to be declared powder free.”


£400,000 of annual savings were made across seven trusts. The new glove was classified as super sensitive and offers excellent strength and protection which has helped improve both patient and staff safety.

Page last updated - 03/08/2019