A team of nursing professionals has been created to evaluate healthcare products to ensure high quality care and value for money in the NHS.
The NHS Clinical Evaluation Team’s remit will be to review the clinical products currently available to identify those which provide a high standard of patient care and deliver the best outcomes for the NHS. This will be combined with a secondary consideration of whether products can be procured effectively through combined NHS buying power to deliver greater value for money.
The team will work independently of suppliers and NHS Supply Chain, and will work with clinical staff across a number of trusts. It will draw on team members’ experience in fields including tissue viability, infection control, continence and clinical procurement to evaluate product ranges.
The NHS Business Services Authority said the team’s recommendations would help rationalise the range of products available to trusts. This would increase buying power and secure better value for the NHS. The team will also ensure that standards are based mainly on patient safety and quality of care with price a secondary consideration, it said.
The work of the team will also inform the future development of national clinical specifications across various product categories.
The NHS Business Services Authority said that the team’s work responded directly to the Carter Review which identified unwarranted variations in running costs, sickness absence, infection rates and prices paid for supplies and services.
The NHS Clinical Evaluation Team will be co-ordinated by the NHS Business Services Authority and report to the NHS Clinical Reference Board.
Mandie Sunderland, who chairs the board and represents the Royal College of Nursing, said she believed the team’s work would have a huge impact.
“Quality, safety and value are at the heart of our work and it’s important that we use our clinical experience to deliver high standards of care while also reducing cost and waste in the NHS,” said Sunderland. “The financial strain on the NHS is considerable and I am confident that the NHS Clinical Evaluation Team and their detailed insight into frontline patient care are uniquely placed to evaluate the range of products effectively.”