04 November 2004 | Cara Whitehouse
Surrey & Sussex NHS Supply Management Confederation has kick-started a £24 million savings drive with the appointment of six new project buyers.
The savings - which the confederation wants to make on top of those already required by local health trusts - are targeted on an annual spend of more than £500 million a year. It plans to deliver the savings over a three-year period.
Neil Thornton, who heads the confederation, said it aims to achieve the cost reductions through "collaborative contracting and procurement for 31 health organisations in the Surrey and Sussex area".
The items purchased by the confederation include medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, as well as services.
Elaine Inglis joins the confederation as a clinical procurement specialist after holding a number of clinical posts within both the NHS and private sector.
Paul Fitch is also to join the confederation from Brighton & Sussex Hospitals, where he was leading the implementation of an e-procurement system.
Jane Harrison and Helen Dent were both recruited from The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency.
Martin Cooper, formerly of the South Downs NHS Trust, has a background within NHS procurement.
Jonathan Hogge joins from Emcor Facilities Services, an airport services company.
The confederation is due to appoint three more project buyers. Each of these nine buyers are to develop category management specialisations.
The unit also aims to raise professional standards and promote best practice across the two counties.