17 February 2005 | Cara Whitehouse
David Townsend is overseeing the establishment of a new team at the new Thames Valley Procurement Confederation for the region's NHS trusts.
He will lead a team of three purchasers, who will influence a £420 million annual budget across 28 trusts.
In January, Gareth Davies took up the procurement project officer role at the confederation.
Davies spent four years at the Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospital, most recently as deputy head of procurement.
Alison Ashmann joined at the end of last year as a pharmaceutical purchasing manager.
She was formerly lead pharmacist for the Thames Valley cancer network with responsibility for co-ordinating and standardising cancer pharmacy services. The third project officer, who is likely to be a clinical procurement specialist, has yet to be appointed. The confederation aims to develop collaborative purchasing and establish three-year savings targets.
Townsend has initiated the development of a database to provide visibility on spend and scope for savings.
"This will identify opportunities for product and supplier rationalisation and for negotiating Thames Valley-wide contracts," he said.
Townsend, the former head of purchasing at fresh prepared foods company Geest, joined as director of the procurement confederation at the end of 2004.