29 March 2001 | Liam O'Brien
The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (PSA) has beaten its first-year target to save the National Health Service more than £110 million.
Walter Williams, the PSA's director of policy, told SM that the agency was "well ahead" of its savings target. Details would be announced in its corporate plan at the end of the month. The plan will also set out the PSA's goals over the next three years.
Most of the savings have come from negotiating national contracts on behalf of individual NHS trusts. The agency has focused on making 5 per cent year-on-year savings in these areas, Williams added.
Earlier this month, the PSA published its framework document setting out its objectives, structure and lines of accountability. The agency is particularly keen to tighten up on local purchasing that falls outside nationally negotiated contracts.
"While we can negotiate national contracts that they can draw on, the trusts still do a lot of their own local contracting, and the value that these represent does vary," said Williams.
The NHS recently announced that it would set up a single national e-procurement system by 2002 with expected savings of up to 20 per cent. The NHS needed to change the way that it carried out purchasing, said Eric Jackson, head of e-commerce strategy.