Nurses at an NHS trust have helped contribute to £150,000 in procurement savings in the past 15 months.
The team of nurses at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has been involved in what the trust orders for its wards as part of the nursing supplies group.
They work alongside the trust’s procurement team to ensure nursing products are the highest quality and are used across the trust wherever possible to improve efficiency.
More than £55,000 was saved by purchasing alternative non-sterile examination gloves, and more than £33,000 was saved through purchasing alternative intravenous dressings.
The trust is also trialling red, amber and green stickers on ward 35 at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, to help highlight the cost and suitability of equipment.
So if a nurse needs a standard intravenous giving set, the one with the green sticker will do the job well, but is significantly less expensive than the red one, which is for a limited number of specific uses only.
Sue Smith, executive chief nurse at the trust, said: “This isn’t about us not stocking certain products. It’s about looking at what we do stock and seeing whether there are other products available on the market that offer the same quality and benefits but at a more cost effective price.”
In April the Royal College of Nursing launched a campaign to improve the involvement of nursing staff in helping trusts purchase and use key clinical supplies.