NHS buyers make money by selling moisturiser

3 May 2013

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A hospital trust purchasing department has been instrumental in the launch of a moisturiser that has gone on sale to the general public.

Buyers from Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust’s procurement and innovation team helped write a business case for the ‘My Trusty Little Sunflower Cream’, which has been made at the hospital for more than 20 years but was only previously available in house.

The venture, one of the first in its kind in the NHS, was developed after the trust recognised that the wider sale of the cream could act as an extra revenue stream to invest in improving patient care.

Procurement professionals drew up sourcing strategies and worked alongside a marketing agency which brought the product to life and set up a website for orders.

Rob Webb, head of procurement and commercial services at the trust, said the purchasing team has been recognised as key in “getting the product to market”, adding the initiative was a great example of procurement “innovating” within the NHS [and] broadening its commercial influence to help launch something  “innovative and different”.

“With the focus on procurement to raise its game following the Department of Health paper in May 2012 [NHS Procurement: Raising our game] this is an excellent demonstration of procurement driving change to support the trust in these challenging times, while helping it achieve an income stream and remaining focused on its priority – patients.”

The cream, which can be ordered through www.sunflowercream.com, was originally developed to help with the post-operative skin care in burns and plastic surgery patients but has since been used in many clinical areas.

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