Procurement chief urges NHS buyers to scrub up

15 November 2012

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15 November 2012 | Adam Leach

Procurement professionals in the NHS should attend clinical procedures to broaden their understanding of why and how equipment is used and to increase communication with stakeholders, according to an NHS procurement chief.

Speaking at the Health Care Supply Association 2012 conference, Tony Stanyard, head of procurement at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, suggested the importance of clinical engagement is sometimes overlooked. He argued that it is a vital part of ensuring that the buying of equipment supports the needs of medical staff effectively.

“Heads of procurement and their senior buyers or category managers should get into scrubs occasionally and go down and attend a procedure or go into labs. They should see what the people are doing and how they are using the equipment,” he said. Drawing on personal experience, he added “helps me, it gives me credibility and it is a vital part of clinical engagement”.

As well as attending procedures, Stanyard called for NHS buyers - particularly heads of procurement - to make an effort to have a more visible presence around the hospitals and medical facilities they are responsible for sourcing goods and services for. He said when seen walking around the corridors, staff should know “that’s the head of procurement”.

He also called for all heads of procurement working within the NHS to be formally trained in procurement. He said they needed to work closely with CIPS to ensure all senior buyers are formally trained and qualified.

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