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16 November 2012 | Adam Leach
Buyers should negotiate hard for a good deal on blood, according to Lynda Hamlyn, the chief executive of NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT).
During her presentation to the Health Care Supply Association 2012 conference this week, Hamlyn was asked by a member of the audience what advice she would give on negotiating with NHSBT. In response she said: “I’d certainly come in hard.”
She told the audience it was important the organisation’s customers negotiate hard, as having high quality and diligent customers drives the performance of NHSBT. “You should negotiate hard because whatever relationship you’re in, whether it’s purchaser or supplier, you are only as good as the person you are working with and are up against,” she said.
She also explained during the London Olympics, the organisation had switched to delivering blood to East London hospitals during night-time and many hospitals had now asked for this to become the norm. This, according to Hamlyn, was an example of the organisation becoming more customer focused.
While NHSBT has been working to improve customer service, Hamlyn said in order for it to better serve customers, and in particular to create the potential for efficiency savings, customers should look to work more closely with it.
She told the audience of health service buyers the more they broadened the relationship, such as getting them to manage their blood banks or work on new innovations in transplants, then the more opportunity there would be for efficiency savings. “That gives us a bigger pitch to play on and therefore more opportunities for efficiencies,” Hamlyn added.