NHS Supply Chain reveals new customer board structure

11 June 2015

NHS Supply Chain has announced the details of a new structure for engaging with its stakeholders, including four local customer boards and a clinical reference board, to boost hospital efficiency.

The structure follows a review to identify how NHS Supply Chain and the NHS can optimise value for money from non-pay spend.

The review, which came after the appointment of Sir Ian Carruthers as the independent chair of the NHS Supply Chain customer board in December 2013, looked at how it could deliver the £150 million in savings it has been tasked to make by March 2016.

A proposed framework for the customer board was shared and agreed in June last year. This included a national unitary board, together with a clinical reference board and four local customer boards.

The chairs of the local customer board and clinical reference board also sit on the national unitary board along with John Warrington, deputy director for procurement policy and research at the Department of Health, Steven Pink, director of change and commercial delivery at the NHS Business Services Authority, and Nick Gerrard, CEO of NHS Supply Chain.

NHS Supply Chain said the local customer boards consist of representatives from the NHS chief executive, non-executive, director of finance, procurement and clinical communities. Members have been selected to ensure a broad cross-section from the NHS and will meet quarterly to review and discuss progress against agreed local priorities. The chairs of the four local customer boards and the clinical reference board are:

North: Mick Guymer, director of NHS North West Procurement Development

Midlands: David Melbourne, chief financial officer and deputy chief executive at Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

London: Bill Shields, chief executive, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Southern: Suzanne Tracey, director of finance at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Clinical Reference Board: Mandie Sunderland, chief nurse, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

“By facilitating interaction with trusts through the customer board at a local level we will be able to help accelerate change and the delivery of the significant savings needed,” Carruthers said.

The national unitary board met in November 2014 for the first time to discuss and agree the priority areas to ensure mobilisation behind the savings plans in the local regions. The board aims to work with NHS Supply Chain to improve the usage of the NHS’s national contract for the purchase and supply of consumables, medical and surgical products and medical capital equipment. It aims to maximise the efficiencies and savings opportunities through spend commitment and better collaboration with trusts.

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