19 September 2008 | Paul Snell
A "procurement concordat" is to be established in Liverpool to use purchasing power to improve the health of its citizens.
The agreement is part of a 12-point plan suggested by the Health is Wealth Commission, a body established to understand and improve the disparity between the city's economic growth and falling public health.
The agreement would involve all public sector organisations adopting a document to encourage buyers to source locally, supporting the local economy and creating extra employment and training for the region.
"The aim of the concordat is to get public organisations, such as the NHS, to sign up and promise to source a fair percentage locally, probably around 30 per cent, to support local industry and local jobs," Commission member Larry Neild told supplymanagement.com.
Initial signatories include the NHS North West Procurement Hub, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services and Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Once adopted, it is hoped private sector organisations will also commit to the agreement.
But Neild said it is encouraging the buyers that would be the hard part of the scheme. "When we involve chief executives they are in favour of it, but when we speak to procurement managers they just follow the rules," he said. "We need to find chief executives and make sure information filters down to the buyers and tell them to do this."