20 January 2005 | David Arminas
The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (Pasa) is set to take on more procurement responsibility following the results of a major review announced last Thursday.
The move follows the government's demand that all public- sector departments and agencies make efficiency savings of up to 3 per cent a year.
A Pasa spokeswoman told SM: "The final details of what exactly Pasa will take on is not yet sorted. But it is likely we will be taking on more buying for other departments because they are all looking to rationalise their procurement."
She added that it does not look as if the review will result in any job losses at Pasa: "The people numbers in the new organised Pasa appear to be the same as the old set-up."
An example of its new role is in the "imminent" takeover of the Device Evaluation Service from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
Eric Jackson, director of e-commerce at Pasa, said the reorganisation meant "exciting times" for the agency.
"This will be an enhanced role for Pasa and very positive for us."
He said Pasa is taking on new work within the Department of Health and took on its procurement policy and advice unit a few weeks ago.
A spokeswoman for Pasa's sister organisation, NHS Logistics Authority, said it was too early to say if there would be any changes in their relationship.
The body is undergoing market-testing to see if parts of its work might be outsourced. Nothing would be decided until at least September, she added.
The DoH aims to halve the number of bodies serving it and save half a million pounds by 2007-08.
In an interview with SM in March, Ken Anderson, the DoH commercial director, said that the role of Pasa "will definitely change. But we intend to strengthen Pasa, there will be no reduced buying power" (see Features, 1 April, 2004).