23 August 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
Three NHS procurement organisations will merge in October in a bid to make £17 million of savings a year.
The Healthcare Purchasing Consortium (HPC), West Midlands Procurement Alliance and Lifesource Collaborative Procurement Hub are joining forces to become the West Midlands SHA Collaborative Procurement Hub. Together they hope to make the most of the West Midlands' health economy's £1.7 billion purchasing power.
The move is in line with the Department of Health's plans to have one hub for each of the 10 strategic health authorities by the end of 2007-08. No jobs will be lost in the merger, which involves 136 staff across the three agencies.
Jonathan Wedgbury, formerly chief executive of HPC and now of the new hub, said: "We are creating the opportunity to share the best of all three organisations."
It is expected to become fully operational from 1 October and will be based at HPC's current offices in Edgbaston, Birmingham.